FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) — Multiple people gathered in Fort Worth Sunday night — all speaking at different times, but spreading the same message of frustration and anger by the shooting death of 28-year-old Atatiana Jefferson.
Just before 2:30 a.m. Oct. 12, police responded to a welfare call in the 1200 block of E. Allen Avenue, where Jefferson’s neighbor reported there door had been left open.
When officers arrived, they searched the perimeter of the house and saw a person standing inside the residence, near a window.
In a statement released Saturday afternoon, the Fort Worth Police Department said an officer perceived a threat then drew his weapon. He fired one shot, striking and killing Jefferson.
The Fort Worth Police Department released the early morning phone call from Jefferson’s neighbor to the department’s non-emergency line.
“Well the front doors have been open since 10 o’clock. I haven’t seen anybody moving around. It’s not normal for them to have both of the doors open this time of night.”
That was the information the two arriving officers had.
During a news conference Sunday afternoon, police explained that the officers did not park their marked cars in front of the house nor did they identify themselves as officers at any time.
Fort Worth Lt. Brandon O’Neil said those things will be addressed as the investigation continues.
But in the meantime, hundreds chanted Jefferson’s name outside her home.
Some of her family members arrived back at the house during what was supposed to be a vigil, but quickly became a demonstration.
Tarrant County Democratic Party Chair Deborah Peoples said this wasn’t just a training issue.
“This is not a training issue with the Fort Worth Police Department. This is a cultural issue,” Peoples said.
Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price also appeared at the gathering, saying she has confidence in the department and Interim Police Chief Ed Kraus.
“He’s devastated about this and I believe he will do the right thing,” Price said. “We will hire a third party investigator to come out.”
Her office later clarified that a 3rd party will review police department policies related to use of force.
Kraus is expected to answer questions about the incident tomorrow, after the officer is interviewed by the department’s major case unit.