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Atatiana Jefferson's 8-year-old nephew described the moments before his aunt was fatally shot by a Forth Worth cop early Saturday.

Jefferson, 28, was gunned down by a rookie cop as she peered out her bedroom window after hearing what she thought was a prowler in her yard.

Fort Worth police say the unidentified cop shot Jefferson through her bedroom window because he "perceived a threat." Police did not clarify the threat.

 

Twitter activist Shaun King tweeted that Fort Worth police are giving the killer cop special treatment.

"We've been told that the @FortWorthPD has been deliberately hiding the name of the officer who murdered #AtatianaJefferson so that he can wipe all of his social media clean," King tweeted on Sunday. "Not one single justifiable reason exists for hiding his identity."

The 8-year-old boy was in Jefferson's bedroom playing a video game when they thought they heard a prowler in the backyard, said the family's attorney S. Lee Merritt.

"They looked at each other and listened more intently when they heard it again," Merritt said in a social media post. "Someone was outside."

Merritt said the nephew described how his aunt went to the window to see who was there.

"Suddenly a man's voice was screaming something he couldn't make out, and then 'bang,'" Merritt said. Jefferson fell to the floor. Merritt said he didn't ask the child what he saw next because he didn't want him "to have to relive that" moment.

"I'm hurt. I'm angry. I'm a little afraid when I'm honest," Merritt said. "I hate this happened to (the nephew). I hate it happened to Tay and her beautiful family. This has to stop now. Enough."

Jefferson was killed after next-door neighbor James Smith, 62, called a non-emergency number to request a welfare check because his neighbor's front door was wide open at 2:30 a.m.

The boy told Merritt they left the door open to get some fresh air and they lost track of time.

Two officers arrived six minutes later and walked around the exterior of the house.

Smith said he heard police shout "Put your hands up, show me your hands!" before hearing a single gunshot.

Body cam video shows Jefferson didn't have enough time to react to the cop's orders before he opened fire through her bedroom window.

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Jefferson lived in the home with her mother who is hospitalized and wasn't at home at the time of the shooting.

Jefferson, who was black, worked as a pharmaceutical sales representative. The cop, who is white, was on the police force for only 18 months. He is currently on paid leave.

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.

Merritt said the cop who shot Jefferson did not identify himself as a police officer before he fired.

"As if killing this gentle sister wasn't enough, I ask myself what would have happened if (the nephew) was the one to look out the window," Merritt said on social media. "Why is this a reality at all for either of them? I am truly heartbroken by this. We must have justice quickly. It cannot wait."

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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."

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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.

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Joshua Brown, the Amber Guyger witness who was gunned down on Friday night in Dallas, was set to testify in a wrongful death lawsuit against the Dallas Police Department when he was killed.

Brown, 28, gave key testimony against Guyger, 31, on day 2 of her murder trial for killing Botham Jean, 26. She was convicted of murder and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Brown was shot to death 2 days after Guyger was sentenced.

Jean's mother is suing the city, citing the Dallas Police Department for failure to properly train Guyger.

The attorney for the Jean family, S. Lee Merritt, stopped just short of accusing the police of assassinating Brown.

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"It is a possibility," Merritt said. "I don't have any evidence other than the timing, but I am not ruling anything out. But what I do know is that Joshua was targeted. This was an assassination. He pulled into his parking lot and he was shot. The perpetrators fled. They didn't steal anything from him."

Witnesses reported seeing a silver four-door sedan speeding out of the parking lot after the shooting.

"This is a kid who had no gang ties, there was no lover's quarrel," said Merritt. "He was an AirBnB host and roofer. All the usual suspects of crime, drugs and sex are simply not there."

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Friends remember Joshua Brown, Botham Jean's neighbor, who was killed after he testified at Guyger's murder trial.

Dallas police responded to reports of gunshots at the 4600 block of Cedar Springs Road around 10:30 pm on Friday. They found Brown unresponsive on the ground with multiple gunshot wounds.

Witnesses reported seeing a silver four-door sedan speeding out of the parking lot.

Brown was rushed to Parkland Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

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Brown, 28, was gunned down about 5 miles from the South Side Flats complex in Dallas where he previously lived across the hall from Jean.

Brown was a defensive back for the University of South Florida. His former teammates were stunned to learn of his murder just 10 days after he testified against former Dallas cop Amber Guyger at her murder trial.

"He was a passionate individual," former USF offensive lineman Kofi Amichia told a reporter via text message Saturday evening. "A guy that always spoke his mind no matter what, and one of the funniest guys at USF. Could make anybody laugh."

Brown was a native of Lancaster, Texas, who transferred to USF in 2012 from an Arizona junior college.

He played in 8 games for USF in 2012. But he suffered a career-ending injury when he tore his Achilles tendon before the start of the 2013 season.

Former Bulls cornerback Kayvon Webster described Brown as athletic and competitive.

"Just sucks to see another brother lose their life so young," Webster said.

Twitter activist Shaun King announced a $100,000 reward for information leading to Brown's killers.

Brown testified on day 2 of Guyger's murder trial. His testimony was key because it conflicted with Guyger's claim that she shot "an intruder" after he refused her verbal commands.

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Brown broke down in tears on the witness stand when he recalled hearing the 26-year-old accountant singing gospel music in his apartment every morning.

Civil rights attorney Lee Merritt, who represents the Jean family, tweeted that Brown was "ambushed" and shot "at close range" in the mouth and chest as he got out of his car at his apartment complex on Friday night.

His tweet sparked rampant rumors that Brown's murder was in retaliation for his testimony in court.

Merritt later clarified that he didn't know where Brown was shot. But he hinted that Brown may have been targeted for testifying against Guyger, 31.

"Brown lived in constant fear that he could be the next victim of gun violence, either state sanctioned or otherwise. We have more work to do deal with the constant threats to our community both from within and without," Merritt said on Saturday.

"Brown deserves the same justice he sought to ensure the Jean family. The Dallas County criminal justice system must mobilized to identify his killer and see that he is held accountable for this murder," he added.

Merritt said he spoke with Brown's mother and that she is "devastated."

Dallas County prosecutor Jason Hermus, praised Brown on Saturday, saying he was "brave" to testify. Hermus said more people should be like him.

"He bravely came forward to testify when others wouldn't," said Hermus. "If we had more people like him, we would have a better world."