Amber Rene Guyger, the Dallas police officer accused of shooting Botham Shem Jean after authorities say she may have gone to his apartment, thinking it was her own, was arrested on September 9, 2018. Guyger’s story has outraged many people on social media and upset Jean’s distraught family, who have lost a young man with a promising career in risk assessment who was beloved by many people.
The affidavit alleges that Jean’s door was unlocked, and it was dark inside when Guyger entered it, and she allegedly thought he was a burglar when she saw a person in the dark, shooting Jean a single time in the chest.
The Dallas Morning News reported that she had just worked a 15-hour shift, had parked on the wrong floor of the parking garage, and was one floor up from her actual floor.
Morning News reporter Naomi Martin confirmed the officer’s name through a Dallas police source after it widely circulated on social media, where outraged people raised questions about the lack of a publicly released warrant, arrest or name. A short time later, Dallas police confirmed Guyger’s identity on Twitter, writing, “The officer involved in this incident has been identified as Officer Amber Guyger #10702. She has been on the department four years and she is assigned to the Southeast Patrol Division.”
Guyger was arrested by the Texas Rangers in Kaufman County, Texas on the evening of September 9, 2018, and is being accused of manslaughter, jail records show.
Kaufman County Jail online records show that Guyger is in custody there. Her mugshot is also available on the public site. She is being held on $300,000 bail.
Here’s her mugshot photo:
According to the affidavit, Botham Jean’s apartment number was 1478 and Guyger lived one floor below him in apartment 1378. The apartments are “in most ways identical or extremely similar to the exterior surroundings, structure, and description of each other,” the document says.
The affidavit says that Jean was home alone when a uniformed Guyger, who had just ended her shift, arrived at the complex and parked on its fourth floor, which corresponds to the floor Jean lived on, not Guyger. Guyger “entered the building and walked down the fourth floor hallway to what she thought was her apartment,” the affidavit says. “She inserted a unique door key, with an electronic chip, into the door key hole.”
However, the door, “which was slightly ajar prior to Guyger’s arrival, fully opened under the force of the key insertion,” the document contends.
After the door opened, “Guyger observed that the apartment interior was nearly completely dark. Additionally, the door being opened alerted Complainant Jean to Guyger’s presence. Believing she had encountered a burglar, which was described as a large silhouette, across the room in her apartment, Guyger drew her firearm, gave verbal commands that were ignored by Complainant Jean,” the affidavit alleges.
As a result, “Guyger fired her handgun two times striking the Complainant one time in the torso,” according to the affidavit, which says that Guyger entered the apartment, calling 911 and requesting police and EMS and provided first aid to Jean. She turned on the interior lights while on the phone with 911. Upon being asked where she was located by emergency dispatchers, she returned to the front door to observe the address and discovered she was at the wrong apartment,” the document alleges.
Guyger then called 911 from her cell phone requesting an ambulance and police to the location. Jean was transported to Baylor Hospital, where he died. Guyger remained at the scene and told the responding officers and 911 operator that she thought she was at her apartment when she shot Jean, according to the affidavit. Guyger “believed she was in her apartment and confronted by a burglar when she fired her handgun, striking and killing him,” the document says.
Dallas police previously released basic details of what occurred in a news release. “On September 6, 2018 at about 9:59 p.m., an off duty Dallas Police officer called police dispatch and said she was involved in a shooting at the apartments located at 1210 S. Lamar,” they wrote.
Martin, the Dallas News reporter, wrote on Twitter that her source also says that Guyger did not know Jean before the shooting and had moved into the upscale apartment complex only the month before.
The law firm of S. Lee Merritt also shared the officer’s name on Twitter, saying the firm was helping represent Jean’s family. Heavy confirmed that Guyger was involved in a previous on-duty shooting.
You can see additional photos of Officer Amber Guyger throughout this article, although her social media accounts are now deleted. The Dallas police chief had said that Guyger would be charged with manslaughter but an arrest warrant was not issued right away, and police revealed Saturday that the Texas Rangers wanted to wait while they investigated the shooting further. That generated a lot of anger online, but on Sunday, the Rangers acted and accused Guyger of manslaughter, taking her to the Kaufman County Jail. In a news conference on Saturday, Merritt and Mothers Against Police Brutality officials had called for the “swift” arrest of the officer.
Attorney Lee Merritt said in a news conference that a witness presents a different account. “They heard knocking down the hallway followed by a woman’s voice that they believe to be officer Guyger saying, ‘Let me in. Let me in,'” Merritt said, adding that the witness then heard gunshots and a man’s voice saying, “Oh my god, why did you do that?'”
Botham Shem Jean was raised in Saint Lucia, a Caribbean island, and he came to the United States to attend college in Arkansas at a Christian university, where he was remembered for his beautiful singing voice and his leadership on campus. and in his church community. He hails from a family that includes a mother who was a government minister and an uncle who was in parliament in Saint Lucia, according to the Saint Lucia Times.
Here’s what you need to know:
Officer Amber Rene Guyger Was Wearing Her Police Uniform When She Showed Up at Botham Shem Jean’s Door
Dallas police released some details of what occurred in an early news release. “On September 6, 2018 at about 9:59 p.m., an off duty Dallas Police officer called police dispatch and said she was involved in a shooting at the apartments located at 1210 S. Lamar,” they wrote.
“Preliminary information suggests that the officer arrived home in full uniform after working a full shift. The officer reported to the responding officers that she entered the victim’s apartment believing that it was her own. At some point, the officer fired her weapon striking the victim. Responding officers administered aid to the victim, a 26-year-old male, at the scene. The victim was then transported to the hospital and pronounced deceased.”
The police chief released some additional details in a later press conference on Friday September 7, 2018, but there were still many unaddressed questions.
S. Lee Merritt law office wrote on Twitter, “Our office has been retained to represent the estate of #BothamShemJean. Our first & foremost priority will be to ensure justice is served for this family. That includes holding Amber Guyger accountable for her crimes as well as ID’ing all responsible for enabling this incident.”
“There was at least enough evidence for a charge of manslaughter, and there is likely evidence for even stiffer penalty charges,” Merritt said in a press conference, saying it was “incumbent on law enforcement and the District Attorney’s office” to issue a warrant for the officer’s arrest. Merritt called it “deferential treatment for law enforcement officers,” saying that Jean’s family is very upset. “We ask that they (law enforcement officers) be treated like any other citizen… for an arrest to be made.”
Merritt denied social media claims that Guyger knew Jean before the shooting, saying, “We have nothing to substantiate those claims. Certainly no one that has been attached to the family or any of the law enforcement officers we’ve spoken to can confirm that, in fact they say just the opposite.” A press release from Ben Crump law firm, and sent to Heavy, reads, “Acclaimed civil rights attorney Ben Crump and Dallas attorney Lee Merritt were retained as co-counsel by the family of Botham Shem Jean. Jean was slain last week by an unidentified Dallas police officer who mistakenly thought Jean’s apartment was her own. Jean, a native of St. Lucia, was a risk assurance specialist for PricewaterhouseCoopers.”
Dallas Police told Fox 4 News’ Steve Eagar that the officer was on the wrong floor of the apartment building, the South Side Flats, when the shooting occurred. Her apartment was on another floor, Eagar reports. “Her key didn’t work in the door. Shooting happened shortly after resident opened his own door,” he wrote on Twitter. He said she was continuing to try to open the door with her key when the door was opened.
Dallas Police Say They Drew Amber Guyger’s Blood to Test Her for Drugs & Alcohol
Police Chief Renee Hall said at a press conference she does not know when the officer’s shift ended. A blood draw was taken from the officer to test for drugs and alcohol, Hall said. She told reporters, “we are in the process of obtaining a warrant based on the circumstances that we have right now.”
The Dallas Morning News asked police if Amber Guyger was claiming that Jean was an intruder in his own home.
“I won’t go into that information right now,” Dallas police spokesman Sgt. Warren Mitchell said to the newspaper. “I mean, we have not interviewed her, and like I said this is just a preliminary statement. We still have a lot to do in this investigation. … This is all we can give you at this time.”
Officer Amber Rene Guyger Was Previously Involved in a Shooting
Amber Guyger has been on the police force for about five years and was assigned to work patrol. She was off-duty when the Botham Jean shooting occurred. She was previously involved in an officer-related shooting, although that one was on duty and the man survived.
The blog Dallas Police Beat wrote in 2017, “The suspect in this offense has been identified as Uvaldo Perez L/M/46. He is being charged with Taking A Weapon from an Officer, Possession of Meth, Possession of Marijuana, and Parole Violation. Mr. Perez remains hospitalized at this time. The officer involved in this incident is Officer Amber Guyger, #10702. She is assigned to the Southeast Crime Response Team (CRT) and has been on the department for three years and six months.”
Mundo Hispanico, a Spanish-language publication, also wrote a story on the Perez shooting. The translation indicates that police were searching for a woman and made a traffic stop. During it, Perez is accused of trying to take the officer’s taser, and it was at that point that he was shot. He was shot in the abdomen but was listed as being in stable condition.
Hall told reporters “it’s not clear what interaction was between them, but at some point, she fired her weapon, striking the victim. She called 911, officers responded in about four minutes. Dallas Fire Rescue also responded and took Mr. Jean to the hospital, where he later died. At the very early stages of this investigation early indications were that we were dealing with an officer-involved shooting. However, as we continued the investigation it became clear we were dealing with much of what appears to be a very unique situation. Therefore, we have ceased handling it under our normal officer-involved shooting protocol.”
The officer has worked for the department for five years, police said in a statement. She had finished a 12-hour shift at some point before the shooting after working overtime because she made a late arrest, police said. A written statement from the police department said the officer was “tired” and thought she was in her apartment, but at a press conference, Chief Renee Hall would not confirm that the officer being tired was the reason she went to the wrong apartment.
Botham Shem Jean comes from a prominent family in Saint Lucia. According to St. Lucia Times, Jean was the son of Allison Jean, described as “former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Innovation, Gender Relations and sustainable Development” and Bertram Jean, who was a store supervisor for Water and Sewerage Company Inc., known as WASCO. His uncle, Ignatius Jean, is “Chief Executive Officer of the Caribbean Water and Sewerage Association Inc. (CAWASA) and former government Minister and Parliamentarian,” St. Lucia Times reported.
“My heart goes with you my boy…never thought this day would come ,wanted to be there for you always my boy …how can this nasty world take you away from me ….this is the worst day of my life thus far….uncle loves you so much …there goes Mr.botham shem Jean….iam lost for words…part of me has left !Gone with the Angel’s ….lord keep me sane,” wrote a heartbroken Earl Jean, Botham’s uncle.
In Arkansas, while attending college, Jean was involved in the College Church of Christ. “He led singing often in HU Chapel and at the College Church of Christ in Searcy,” Glenn Dillard, Harding’s assistant vice president for enrollment management, said to The Christian Chronicle. “He had a beautiful voice.”
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