Police News

Fort Worth police officer who shot Atatiana Jefferson resigns

Fort Worth police officer who shot Atatiana Jefferson resigns

Atatiana Jefferson
Courtesy photo

UPDATE 10-14-2019: Aaron Aaron Dean was arrested by Fort Worth Police on October 14.  Dean has been charged with the murder of Atatiana Jefferson, and is in the Tarrant County Jail.

----------

The Fort Worth police officer who shot and killed Atatiana Jefferson at her home on October 12 has resigned, and his name was released at a press conference on October 14.

According to Fort Worth interim Police Chief Ed Kraus, the officer was Aaron Dean, who turned in his resignation on Monday morning. Kraus said that, if Dean had not resigned, he would have been fired.

"Had the officer not resigned I would have fired him for violations of several policies, including our use of force policy, our de-escalation policy, and unprofessional conduct," Kraus said.

Dean was one of two officers who responded to a neighbor's call on October 12 and went to the home where Jefferson was babysitting her 8-year-old nephew.

Bodycam video shows the officers walking around outside the house in the dark. Wielding a gun, Dean reacts when he sees someone in the house.

"Put your hands up! Show me your hands!" he shouts, then immediately fires a shot through the window, killing Jefferson.

Dean was hired by the police department in August 2017 and was commissioned in April 2018. According to Heavy.com, he's 35 and comes from a large family with five siblings. A native of Arlington, he graduated from University of Texas at Arlington with a physics degree in 2011.

Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price began the conference by offering an apology from the entire city.

"On behalf of the entire city of Fort Worth, I'm sorry to Atatina's family - it's unacceptable," Mayor Price said. "There's nothing that could justify what happ on Saturday morning."

She also apologized to James Smith, the neighbor who called the police that night to requested a welfare check when he saw that the doors to the home were open.

"You called the police as we ask good neighbors to do - you were being that good neighbor," she said. She also expressed condolences to Atatania's nephew who witnessed the shooting, saying, "Sorry doesn’t cut it."

Kraus said that the shooting was being investigated both by their major case unit plus internal affairs.

Dean's badge and firearm were confiscated on October 13, and Kraus said that he intended to meet with him on October 14, but Dean resigned first. Despite his resignation, he'll still face the same criminal charges he would if he were still on the police force.