Fort Worth Police have released the audio of the non-emergency call that a neighbor made to the police requesting a welfare check on Atatiana Jefferson’s home. Jefferson was shot and killed by a Fort Worth, Texas police officer after they responded to the call. The officer went into her backyard, saw movement through the window, and shot through the bedroom window and killed her, according to the bodycam footage.
In the Audio, the Neighbor Says He’s Concerned Because the Door Was Open for Hours
The audio of the phone call is embedded below. It was released to Heavy by the Fort Worth Police.
In the phone call, the neighbor specifies the house he is calling about. He then says that the front door has been opened since 10:00 and he hasn’t seen anyone moving around. He said it wasn’t normal for his neighbor to have both of the doors open that time of night.
He said he wasn’t sure if anyone was inside, but he did say that both cars were in the driveway and specified the type and color of the cars there. He identified himself as James Smith.
James Smith has already spoken to the media about how surprised he was about how the officer responded to his call.
James Smith told WFAA that he called a non-emergency police number to ask for a welfare check. He was concerned because the lights were on and the front door was open.
Smith said the officer’s response didn’t make sense. He told WFAA that there was no domestic violence and no arguing. He said: “nothing that they should have been concerned about as far as them coming with guns drawn to my neighbor’s house.”
Police Confirmed that Jefferson’s Nephew Was with Her When She Was Shot & Killed
During a Sunday evening press conference, police confirmed that Jefferson’s 8-year-old nephew was in the house with her when she was shot and killed.
Police also released a call log and incident detail report to Heavy.
In a press release, the police said that the body cam footage showed the officer walking to the back of the house and “the officer observed a person through a rear window in the house and fired a shot at the person. The officer did not announce that he was a police officer prior to shooting. What the person observed and why he did not announce ‘police’ will be addressed as the investigation continues. An eight-year-old male, Ms. Jefferson’s nephew, was inside the room during this time.”
Attorney Lee Merritt, who represented Botham Jean’s family and who investigated the death of Joshua Brown, said from the beginning that Atatiana Jefferson, known by friends as “Tay,” was playing video games with her eight-year-old nephew in her home when she was shot. He is now representing her family.
According to her Facebook page (which was last updated publicly in 2018), Atatiana Jefferson worked at Xavier University of Louisiana, where she also studied biology and majored in chemistry with a minor in pre-med. She was working in pharmaceutical equipment sales, her GoFundMe shares.
A GoFundMe has been started for Jefferson’s family. More than $94,000 has been raised so far to help with funeral expenses and other expenses associated with Jefferson’s tragic death. The fund is called “Justice for Atatiana Jefferson.”
A candlelight vigil will be held tonight at 7 p.m.