DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings called the shooting death of Botham Jean by an off-duty officer a “very serious issue” for the city in a statement Saturday afternoon.
The 26-year-old was shot inside his own apartment at the Southside Flats complex after it appeared the Dallas officer mistook his unit as her own. Questions still remain on what exactly led to the shooting as investigators continue to look into the incident. Police said the Texas Rangers have taken over the investigation.
As questions linger, Mayor Rawlings delivered a statement Saturday to praise Jean as a great citizen to the city. He was accompanied by Sen. Royce West and Mayor pro tem Casey Thomas.
“Botham Jean was exactly the sort of citizen we want to have in the city of Dallas. We’re becoming an international city. A man that grew up in St. Lucia, a professional working for PWC, a believer in his church, a neighbor to his friends, a man that always had a smile on his face. And for that reason, this is a terrible, terrible thing that has happened. Not only has he lost his life, but we’ve lost a potential leader for his city for decades to come,” said Mayor Rawlings.
Mayor Rawlings also wanted to reassure the city that action is taking place to get answers for the “tragedy.”
“I believe what Chief Hall has done has been exactly the right thing. This is a tough situation. As she said, a unique situation. Her wisdom in asking the Texas Rangers to come in and take over this investigation is foresight. We want to make sure as she said that everything is transparent and above board. Believe me for anyone that questions whether we’re going to get to the truth of this, there should be no doubters. We will find out exactly what happened,” said Mayor Rawlings.
The Dallas mayor met with Jean’s family Saturday morning when they flew into Dallas. He met his mother, sister and brother-in-law.
“They’re a remarkable family and you understand why Botham was such a great man. Mrs. Jean was a government leader in St. Lucia for years. She started telling me stories about Botham,” said Mayor Rawlings.
Gov. Greg Abbott talked with Mayor Rawlings about the incident and assured him that justice will be served.
“We will call on you again today to be patient and know that we’re going to make sure that justice is served. On the other hand, we need you to be there for us,” said Mayor Rawlings.
Sen. West urged the city to remember Jean during Sunday church services and to pray for the family as the search for more answers into the beloved man’s death.
“Tomorrow morning when you go to worship, make sure you remember Botham in your prayers and remember his family also. I’m convinced the Texas Rangers will do a job that will make all of Texas proud. What I will ask is that the Rangers leave no stone unturned, number one. Number two, make certain we get answers to the questions out there now,” said Sen. West.