Dallas police officer realized she was in the wrong apartment when she turned on the lights
DALLAS — Dallas police officer Amber Guyger says she shot and killed 26-year-old Botham Shem Jean on Thursday after she thought she was entering her own apartment, not realizing she was on the wrong floor. Guyger stands charged with manslaughter.
A copy of an arrest warrant affidavit from the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office revealed new details:
- Jean lived in apartment #1478, Guyger lives in #1378
- Both apartments are identical or extremely similar in terms of floorplan, exterior surroundings, structure and description
- Jean was home alone when Guyger, still in uniform after her shift, entered the apartment
- Guyger parked her vehicle on the fourth floor, entered the building and walked toward what she thought was her apartment
- She used her door key, which has an electronic chip, to try to enter the apartment
- The door was slightly ajar when she approached it
- The door opened under the force of the key insertion
- The interior of the apartment was nearly completely dark
- Guyger could make out a large silhouette across the room
- She drew her weapon, believing there was an intruder in her apartment
- Her verbal commands to Jean were ignored
- Guyger fired two shots at Jean, striking him once in the torso
- Guyger then entered the apartment, called 911 and started administering first aid to Jean
- She turned on the lights while on the phone with 911, and when they asked for her address, she realized she was in the wrong apartment
- She requested an ambulance and police to come to the apartment
- Jean was transported to Baylor Hospital, where he died
- Guyger remained at the scene and told officers and the 911 operator that she thought she was in her apartment when she shot Jean
Guyger was arrested Sunday on a manslaughter charge, the Texas Rangers said.
Guyger was released from the Kaufman County Jail on Sunday evening after posting a $300,000 bond.
The fatal shooting happened Thursday night at the South Side Flats in Dallas, where both Jean and Guyger lived.
“A female Dallas police officer returned to what she believed to be her apartment after her shift ended — she was still in uniform when she encountered Mr. Jean inside the apartment,” Dallas Police Chief Ulysha Renee Hall said Thursday.
The police chief said it’s unclear what “the interaction was between her and the victim. Then at some point she fired her weapon striking the victim.”
The officer called 911 and officers “responded in about four minutes,” Hall said.
Guyger also involved in a 2017 shooting
Guyger, 30, is a four-year veteran of the department, assigned to the Southeast Patrol Division. It wasn’t immediately clear if she had an attorney.
Guyger was involved in another shooting incident in May 2017, Dallas police said.
In that case, Guyger was attempting to identify a woman in a car when another passenger in the vehicle got out and took her taser. Guyger shot and injured the suspect, according to the department’s statement. The suspect was later charged with taking a weapon from an officer, possession of meth and marijuana and a parole violation.
State law enforcement leading the investigation
The investigation into the recent shooting has been handed over to the Texas Rangers, the state law enforcement agency, to “eliminate the appearance of any potential bias,” the police department said in a statement Saturday.
“At the very early stages of this investigation — initial indications were that they were what we consider circumstances of an officer-involved shooting,” Hall said. “However, as we continued this investigation it became clear that we were dealing with what appears to be a much different and very unique situation.”
Hall said investigators obtained a blood sample from Guyger to test for drugs and alcohol.
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings thanked the Texas Rangers and praised Hall, who asked the state agency to take over the investigation.
“Please continue to pray for the family of Botham Jean tonight and in the weeks and months ahead,” Rawlings said in a statement.