The father of a 28-year-old Texas woman who was fatally shot by a rookie cop is comparing his daughter's wrongful death to Botham Jean, the 26-year-old account who was killed in his apartment by a cop.
Atatiana Jefferson's father, Marquis Jefferson, said his daughter didn't have time to react to a cop's orders before she was shot through her bedroom window early Saturday morning.
Marquis Jefferson was inconsolable after receiving the call that his daughter was killed.
As Atatiana's name trended on Twitter.com all weekend, Marquis told KTXA, "My daughter was 28 years old, had her whole life in front of her.
"You have to know this is somebody's daughter. Somebody loved her. There was a better way. It didn't have to be like that."
Jefferson's family said she was playing video games with her young nephew before she was shot. Jefferson and her nephew thought they heard a prowler outside before she walked to her bedroom window to look out.
The family has retained attorney Lee Merritt who also represents Botham Jean's family.
According to published reports, two cops responded to a non-emergency 911 call placed by next door neighbor James Smith, 62, who asked police to conduct a welfare check after noticing Jefferson's front door was open at 2:30 a.m.
The two officers observed the open front door, but rather than knock or identify themselves as police officers, they conducted a search of the property at the back of the house.
Body cam video released by the Fort Worth Police Department shows the cop shining a flashlight around the darkened exterior of the home.
At one point the cop was startled by Jefferson who looked out her bedroom window. The cop, without identifying himself, shouted "Put your hands up! Show me your hands!" before firing through the closed window, striking Jefferson and killing her.
Legal experts say the fact that the cop shouted "show me your hands" before firing a split second later is sufficient proof that he did not see Jefferson's hands before he fired. Nor did he give Jefferson sufficient time to react to his orders.
The edited police video shows still photos taken of a handgun presumably located inside Jefferson's bedroom after she was shot. According to Texas law, Jefferson was within her rights to keep a gun to protect her home.
The college graduate's case is being compared to that of Botham Jean, who was killed in his own apartment by former Dallas cop Amber Guyger on Sept. 6, 2018.
Guyger, 31, was convicted of murder and sentenced to 10 years in prison earlier this month.
"Unlike this Botham Jean, I don't want no hug," Marquis Jefferson said, referring to the infamous hug Guyger received from trial judge Tammy Kemp after she was found guilty. "That's my one and only daughter. I will never forget that," Jefferson said.
Smith says he regrets calling the police to conduct a welfare check on his neighbor.
He said Jefferson was a good neighbor who lived with her 8-year-old nephew and an older woman, who was in the hospital.
"I'm shaken. I'm mad. I'm upset. And I feel it's partly my fault," Smith said. "If I had never dialed the police department, she'd still be alive."
The officer has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation into the shooting.