Amber Guyger, the Dallas police officer accused of shooting a Saint Lucian-born businessman named Botham Shem Jean, shot a previous man while on duty even though authorities say she’s only been on the force for four years.
That’s according to a Dallas police news release and news stories from the time of the first shooting, which occurred in 2017.
There are key differences between the shootings of Uvaldo Perez and Botham Shem Jean, however. Perez survived. Jean is dead. Police said that Amber Guyger shot Perez while she was on duty; although Guyger was wearing her full police uniform when she shot Jean, she was not on duty at the time and had served her shift earlier in the day. Perez also took action that precipitated the shooting; according to news articles, he attempted to disarm Guyger of her taser before she shot him. By all accounts, Jean was just minding his own business in his own apartment when the officer appeared at his door. Guyger did not face any charges in the 2017 police shooting.
She is facing charges in the Botham Jean shooting. 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.
Police have said that Guyger believed she was at her own apartment door but was mistakenly at that of Botham Jean, a beloved man in his church and community who worked in risk assessment for PricewaterhouseCoopers. The police chief said in a previous news conference that the interaction between Guyger and Jean at the time of the shooting was unclear. Dallas media and the attorney for Jean’s own family say that there is no evidence Guyger and Jean knew each other before the shooting.
Here’s what you need to know:
Amber Guyger Shot Perez During a 2017 Traffic Stop & Botham Shem Jean’s Mother Says Her Son ‘Did No One Any Wrong’
Stories and a police press release posted online and a database of police shootings identified Amber Guyger as having been involved in the previous officer-involved shooting.
The Dallas Police Department’s website 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.”
The police website included this description of the Perez shooting:
On May 12, 2017, at about 8:58 am, Dallas officers from the Crime Response Team responded to the 8300 block of Reva Street after receiving information from undercover officers that a wanted female was at the location. When the uniformed officers arrived, they observed the female they believed to be wanted sitting in the front passenger seat of a vehicle with a male sitting in the front driver seat and another male sitting in the back seat. While officers were attempting to identify the female passenger, the male passenger sitting in the rear seat exited the vehicle after being told repeatedly by officers to remain seated. The male suspect then engaged in a physical confrontation with the officers. The suspect was able to gain control of one of the officer’s taser causing an officer to draw their firearm and shoot the suspect. The suspect was transported to an area hospital where he is listed in stable condition. There were no officers injured. This incident will be documented on case number 106261-2017.
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.
Perez entered a plea deal and admitted the charges against him, receiving a two-year prison sentence.
In contrast, Botham Shem Jean was in his own apartment and doing nothing wrong when he was shot.
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.
Jean’s mother, who is also known as Allie Jean, told NBC News from Saint Lucia: “He did no one any wrong.” The shooting occurred at an upscale apartment complex called South Side Flats not far from downtown Dallas, NBC reported.
“Somebody has to be crazy not to realize that they walked into the wrong apartment,” Allie Jean said.
Dallas Police Were Seeking a Manslaughter Warrant But the Texas Rangers, Who Took Over the Investigation, Waited Until Sunday
Why wasn’t Amber Guyger under arrest immediately? Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall previously said that police had enough evidence to seek a warrant for manslaughter, but police revealed on Saturday that the Texas Rangers, who took over the investigation, were still investigating and wanted to wait on any warrant. That clearly changed on Sunday with Guyger’s arrest and jailing. Online records show that Amber Guyger has long ties to Texas and is 30-years-old.
“When the Rangers arrived, the investigation was turned over to them and they made the decision to postpone pursuing a warrant, until they could follow up on information that they received from the interview with the officer,” Dallas police explained, without elaborating. “The Texas Rangers will take the appropriate time to review the vast amount of evidence and information secured by Dallas Police Department investigators. This will allow them to be thorough in their decision as to how to move forward.”
Mayor Mike Rawlings has supported the police chief, saying, “It’s important that the citizens know that I believe what Chief Hall has done has been exactly the right thing. This is a tough situation.”
Police have not released many specifics of the shooting, although they did say previously that they were testing Guyger for drugs and alcohol. “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,” police wrote in a previous news release.
“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.”
Police said it wasn’t clear what interaction occurred between Jean and Guyger leading to the shooting.
READ NEXT: Amber Guyger Has Long Ties to Texas