Fort Worth police officer resigns after shooting woman in her own home

The Fort Worth, Texas, police officer who fatally shot a black woman in her own home over the weekend has resigned but remains under criminal investigation, Chief Ed Kraus said at a news conference Monday.

Kraus identified Aaron Dean as the officer who shot and killed Atatiana Jefferson early Saturday morning after a neighbor called to tell police Jefferson’s door was open, according to the Forth Worth Star-Telegram.

Dean reportedly shot Jefferson without identifying himself as a police officer. Kraus said Dean is still under criminal investigation and would have been fired had he not offered his resignation.

“The officer observed a person through a rear window in the house and fired a shot at that person,” police said in a written statement, according to the Star-Telegram. “The officer did not announce that he was a police officer prior to shooting. What the officer observed and why he did not announce ‘Police’ will be addressed as the investigation continues.”

Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price (R), who attended a candlelight vigil for Jefferson Sunday, called the shooting unjustified, according to the newspaper.

“Atiatiana was an amazing, smart woman who was unjustly taken from her family,” she said. “I cannot imagine anything worse and I am so sorry ... there is nothing that can justify what happened.”

Price also blasted the release of images showing a gun that was found in Jefferson’s home, saying Jefferson was legally in possession of the gun and that it was irrelevant to the shooting, according to the Star-Telegram.

Jefferson was killed shortly after another high-profile verdict in Texas. Former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger was convicted of murder and sentenced to 10 years in prison for shooting and killing Botham Jean after entering his apartment, claiming she mistook it for her own.