Atatiana Koquice Jefferson, was an aspiring doctor, who had already gained a B.S. in biology from Xavier University and was working in pharmaceutical equipment sales to save enough money to attend medical school. She was the baby of a close-knit family and had just moved back home to care for her ailing mother. She was also a gamer and was playing Halo with her 8-year-old nephew, Zion the night she was killed by police.
Atatiana was 28 years old when was fatally shot in her home by a police officer in Fort Worth Tx. About 3 am on October 12, 2019 a neighbor noticed her front door had been left open for several hours. The concerned neighbor called the police to check on the family and make sure everything was okay.
Atatiana was playing Halo with her nephew when they heard a noise in the back yard. Neither officer identified themselves. Not knowing who was out there she went to the window with her handgun. Officer Aaron Dean shot through it and killed her.
Officer Aaron Dean who was dispatched in response to a non-emergency welfare check call placed by a concerned neighbor.
Dean fired “within seconds” of seeing Jefferson. The body cam footage does not appear to show police identifying themselves or whether she was armed. The footage also does not show any indication if Dean could see the gun that Jefferson held, as the view through the window was obstructed by the reflection from his flashlight. The officer partnered with Dean told authorities that she could only see Jefferson’s face through the window.
The neighbor told reporters that he never intended for an aggressive law enforcement response. There was: “No domestic violence, no arguing. Nothing that they should have been concerned with, as far as them coming with guns drawn to my neighbor’s house. There wasn’t any reason for a gun shot that I know of.”
On October 14, 2019, Dean resigned before he could be fired for what Chief Ed Kraus said included violating departmental policies on use of force, de-escalation, and unprofessional conduct.
December 20, 2019, Dean was indicted for murder.
March 5th, 2020, Dean has his first appearance in court.
July 3rd, 2020, I have been unable to find any other updates on his case. As Covid19 spread across the country, it may be that it has been suspended at this time.
Father passed away unexpectedly less than a month after Atatiana’s death, from a “broken heart.” having never recovered from the loss of his only child.
Mother: passed away January 9th 2020.
Her neighbor is left wracked with guilt for calling the police and stated: “had I not called the Fort Worth Police Department, my neighbor would still be alive today.”
In the summer of 2019, Fort Worth announced their plans to hire police monitors. Since the position was announced the police had shot and killed 7 people including Atatiana.
Kim Neal and Denise Rodriguez reported for their first day on March 5th.
The Atatiana “Tay” Jefferson Foundation was formed by her father before he passed. It’s goal is to carry out the promise and dreams of Marquis and Atatiana by assisting in the development of Black doctors, serving the homeless community, and mentoring youth in math.