Father of Texas Woman, Who Was Fatally Shot in Her Home by Police, Dies Weeks After Her Death

Atatiana Jefferson died on Oct. 12 when a police officer fatally shot her in her own home

Atatiana Jefferson
Atatiana Jefferson. Photo: Facebook

The father of Atatiana Jefferson has died of a heart attack less than one month after his daughter was fatally shot by a police officer in her own home.

Marquis A. Jefferson died of cardiac arrest, though he had no history of prior illness, a spokesperson for the family, Bruce Carter, told NBC Dallas on Saturday.

“It’s just sad because of grief. I don’t know what else to say,” Carter told the outlet. “Less than a month ago, he was working at El Centro, mentoring kids twice a week. He just couldn’t get back from what happened with his daughter.”

Atatiana was killed on Oct. 12 when Fort Worth police responded to an “open structure call” in the 1200 block of E. Allen Avenue at around 2:30 a.m. A neighbor called authorities to report that Atatiana’s front door was open.

The Texas resident, 28, had been playing video games with her 8-year-old nephew when the call was made.

Body-camera footage, released by the police and shared by multiple outlets, showed two officers walking around the side of the house as one officer approached a closed first-floor window with a flashlight. After raising his gun, the officer screamed, “Put your hands up! Show me your hands!”

aaron dean
Aaron York Dean. Fort Worth Police

The officer, later identified as Aaron Dean, allegedly never identified himself as police before firing. Dean resigned the following Monday, on Oct. 14, hours before being fired. He was originally placed on administrative leave and had been with Fort Worth Police Department since April 2018.

Following his resignation, Dean was taken into custody by his former department and charged with the murder of Jefferson, according to a statement from the Fort Worth Police Department.

He is currently out on a $200,000 bond, according to NBC.

Following the news, Lee Merritt, the Jefferson Family’s attorney, issued a statement on behalf of his clients and said that while they were “relieved” with the arrest and charges, there was still work to be done in their community.

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“The family of Atatiana Jefferson is relieved that Aaron Dean has been arrested & charged with murder,” Merritt wrote on Twitter. “We need to see this through to a vigorous prosecution & appropriate sentencing. The City of Fort Worth has much work to do to reform a brutal culture of policing.”

Merritt had originally created a GoFundMe page to cover “funeral cost and other expenses associated with this tragedy,” however, former Dallas Mavericks star Harrison Barnes and Philadelphia Eagles player Malik Jackson stepped forward to pay for the funeral.

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