Atatiana Jefferson Was Killed While Playing Video Games With 8-Year-Old Nephew

The Dallas Fort Worth former officer has been charged with murder.
Police/Handout

Atatiana Jefferson, known as the "cool auntie" to her 8-year-old nephew, was playing video games with the young boy when she was shot and killed by a police officer standing outside her window.

Jefferson, 28, was babysitting her nephew when Fort Worth officers arrived outside her house to perform a welfare check. As former Officer Aaron Dean moved outside her bedroom, Jefferson stopped her game with the boy and got up to check out what was happening, family attorney Lee Merritt told The New York Times. It was then that Dean fatally shot Jefferson through the window.

The boy was in the room when she was shot.

"He saw her when she fell," Merritt told CNN of Jefferson's nephew. "He was present the entire time. He never left the room."

The child will receive counseling after witnessing the tragic events, Merritt said.

Dean resigned from the force before being charged Monday with murder in Jefferson's shooting. If he had not resigned, he would have been fired for violations of use of force and unprofessional conduct, Chief Ed Kraus said Monday. 

“This tragic loss of life has major ramifications for all involved, especially the family of Ms. Atatiana Jefferson,” police said in a statement. “We have communicated with the family and shared our serious and heartfelt concern for this unspeakable loss.”

Dean was released on $200,000 bond Monday night. 

The shooting comes on the heels of a murder conviction for former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger after she shot her neighbor Botham Jean, 26, in his Dallas home. Guyger maintains she mistook Jean's apartment for her own. She was sentenced to ten years for the killing two weeks ago.

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