UPDATED: 5:59 p.m. EDT — The off-duty police officer who killed a man in his own Dallas home after reportedly confusing the apartment for her own was denied entry before she fired the fatal shots.
When Botham Shem Jean opened the door, the officer shot first without asking any questions, according to journalist and social media activist Shaun King.
Police said an arrest warrant was expected to be issued for the officer, according to ABC News.
It was unclear if the officer knew Jean, 26, who lived in the same apartment complex as each other. It was also unclear how the officer came to mistake Jean’s apartment for her own.
“At the very early stages of this investigation, initial indications were that they were what we consider circumstances of an officer-involved shooting,” Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall said Friday. “However, as we continued this investigation it became clear that we were dealing with what appears to be a much different and very unique situation.”
Imagine sitting in your apartment when someone walks in your front door and starts shooting. That was the case for Botham Shem Jean, a 26-year-old from St. Lucia who was living in Dallas.
An unidentified police officer who was off-duty entered Jean’s apartment, thought it was her own, saw Jean and fatally shot him, according to NBC News.
Dallas police issued a brief statement about the tragedy that arguably involved implicit bias.
“It’s not clear what the interaction was between her and the victim,” the statement said in part. “Therefore, we have ceased handling it under our normal officer involved shooting protocol, a blood sample was drawn to test for drugs and alcohol, we are in the process of obtaining a warrant, and we have also invited the Texas Rangers to conduct an independent investigation.”
Jean’s family was heartbroken. His uncle penned an emotional Facebook post:
“Just last week I was thinking of what to get you for your birthday, now I have to go pick out your casket,” Jean’s sister, Alissa Charles-Findley, wrote on Facebook. “You will always be my baby brother. I love you with all of my heart Botham Shem Jean. Until we meet again my love.”
It’s not clear how the officer entered the wrong apartment nor is her race known. However, the fact that this cop would blindly enter the wrong apartment and randomly start shooting shows how police are too comfortable with their guns. Moreover, if this person was a neighbor, did she not recognize him or did she just see a Black man? Horrible.
Our condolences go out to Botham Shem Jean’s friends and family.