Last Thursday 26-year-old Botham Jean, a black man, was shot and killed in his own home by a white female Dallas police officer who claims she mistook his apartment for hers after getting home late at night. Now new evidence is coming to light from neighbors, suggesting Amber Guyger, the police officer, may not be telling the full story.
According to Guyger’s version of the story she got home Thursday night after a fifteen-hour shift and mistakenly parked on the fourth floor of the garage, she normally parks on the third floor. Unaware she was on the wrong floor, Guyger proceeded to what she claims she thought was her apartment and put her key in the door. The door, she says, was unlocked and slightly ajar and thus, opened when she put her key in the lock.
Lights were off in the apartment, and Guyger claims she saw a shadowy figure inside. She proceeded to give verbal commands to the figure, which Guyger claims were ignored and so, thinking she was being burglarized, she drew her gun and fired two times. Jean died of a gunshot wound to his chest.
Monday evening, however, lawyers for Jean’s family reported that at least two neighbors have told them conflicting versions of events that night. Lee Merritt, who is representing the family, said two neighbors told him they heard knocking on a door in the hallway before the shooting.
Another neighbor told Merritt, they heard a woman’s voice saying, “Let me in! Let me in!” Then they heard gunshots and a man’s voice say, “Oh my God! Why did you do that?”
Jean’s family also contends that he would not have left the door ajar and that he had made a point of buying a particularly bright red doormat to ensure no one would mistake his apartment for theirs.
Merritt said Jean was a “meticulous individual” who made it “a point to close the door behind him.”
“He put everything in a particular place.
“In fact, to ensure no one mistook his apartment the way this officer is claiming in this case, he went out and bought the biggest, brightest red rug and placed it right there at his doorstep,” Merritt said.
Guyger was arrested last Sunday for the shooting and will face a grand jury to decide on charges for her case. Gugyger, a four-year veteran of the Dallas PD, was involved in another shooting in 2017. Guyger shot a man named Uvaldo Perez after a struggle broke out between the two and according to reports, a taser she fired failed to stop him.
Jean was originally born in St. Lucia but attended college in Arkansas. He graduated in 2016 from Harding University, and often led campus religious services as a student. Since graduation, he had worked as an accountant for the firm PwC.