Amber Guyger
Kaufman County Jail
placeholder
September 11, 2018 12:47 PM

The Dallas police officer charged with manslaughter for fatally shooting one of her neighbors last week told investigators she thought she was confronting an intruder in her own apartment, according to an arrest affidavit released Monday.

But Amber Guyger — fresh from work and still in her police uniform — was actually in the home of 26-year-old Botham Shem Jean, one floor above her own unit in their complex.

The arrest affidavit, obtained by PEOPLE, states the five-year veteran of the Dallas Police Department told detectives she encountered “a large silhouette” inside Jean’s apartment after opening the front door and she fired her service revolver twice, striking Jean once in the torso.

However, an attorney representing Jean’s family has disputed Guyger’s account of what happened and said witnesses heard pounding on a door before the shooting.

“The No. 1 answer that I want is what happened,” Jean’s mother, Allison Jean, said Monday, according to the Dallas Morning News. “I’ve been told that there are no answers yet.”

“The wise person is one who lets this play out,” Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings told the paper. “At the same time, let people mourn and hug them and help them. But let’s not forget: We’re going toward transparency, towards justice. We want transparency and expediency, but let’s not let expediency get in the way of the truth.”

Guyger, 30, was charged with manslaughter on Sunday, three days after the shooting. According to the arrest affidavit, she claimed she mistook Jean’s apartment for her own.

RELATED: Officer Arrested After Walking Into the Wrong Apartment After Work and Killing the Man Inside

At a news conference on Monday, prosecutors announced the case would be presented to a grand jury for further consideration. Jurors could move to indict Guyger on charges beyond manslaughter, such as murder.

The arrest affidavit alleges she parked her car on the fourth floor of her apartment complex’s garage late Thursday and entered the fourth-floor hallway. Her apartment is on the third floor, directly below Jean’s residence.

Though each apartment requires a “unique door key, with an electronic chip” to gain access, Jean’s front door was “slightly ajar” when Guyger arrived and it opened “under the force” of her entering her key, according to the affidavit.

Inside, the apartment “was nearly completely dark,” according to Guyger, and she said that when she saw Jean she assumed he was a burglar.

She said she drew her weapon and “gave verbal commands” to Jean that — in her view — he ignored, the affidavit states.

• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.

After firing two bullets, Guyger called 911 to report the shooting and realized she was in the wrong residence, according to the affidavit.

Jean, who worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers and was a native of Saint Lucia, was transported to Baylor University Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

The shooting happened Thursday around 10 p.m.

Jean was alone when Guyger, who was new to the complex, entered his apartment.

Guyger has yet to enter a plea to the charge she faces. On Sunday, she posted $300,000 for her release a few hours after being taken into custody.

Neither she nor her lawyer could be reached for comment Tuesday.

Botham Shem Jean
Botham Shem Jean/Facebook

Lee Merritt, an attorney retained by Jean’s family, said at a news conference on Monday that Guyger’s version of the shooting conflicts with what he has learned about the altercation.

According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Merritt said he has two witnesses — sisters who live in the complex — who claim they heard Guyger pounding on Jean’s front door in the moments before the gunfire.

“One happened to be in a quiet room reading a book so she was in the best position to hear things,” Merritt told reporters. “She heard pounding at the door. The other one [witness) was in the living room [of her own apartment] watching TV. She also heard the same pounding at the door.”

He said the witness who was reading a book heard shouting:

“She heard, ‘Let me in,’ followed by ‘Let me in,’ in an elevated tone and then she heard more pounding at the door. Then shortly thereafter she heard gunshots.”

According to Merritt, one of the witnesses may have heard Jean’s final words.

“Which was, ‘Oh my God, why did you do that?’ and there was nothing heard after,” Merritt said.

He argued that Guyger’s account in her arrest affidavit was a ploy to gain public sympathy and said that she should have realized she was at the wrong apartment. For example: Jean had a red doormat at his front door, which Guyger did not, while Guyger has a dog.

“Not only at the front of his door [the red rug outside] but all around his apartment. This is his apartment, this wasn’t her apartment,” Merritt said, according to the Star-Telegram. “There wouldn’t be the same smell. There wouldn’t be the same furniture. There wouldn’t be the same lighting patterns. There would’ve been a number of identifying markers to alert her including the absence of her dog.”

RELATED: Officer Returning from Work Walks Into Wrong Apartment and Then Kills Man Inside, Police Say

Guyger’s employment status was not immediately clear on Tuesday. Authorities previously said she was placed on leave amid the investigation, as is standard.

Testing was being done on Guyger’s blood to check for alcohol and drugs, police said last week. The results of that test have not been publicly released.

PEOPLE’s attempts to reach Jean’s relatives have been unsuccessful. Speaking with CNN, his younger brother, Brandt Jean, and father, Bertram Jean, described him as “down to earth” and with a strong religious faith.

He graduated from Arkansas’ Harding University two years ago and the college shared a memorial video of him singing.

“Mainly, I will remember his advice,” Brandt told CNN. “I would do stupid stuff at times, and he would tell me what I needed to hear, even though it might hurt me, even though I might cry. He was real.”

Said Bertram: “We will miss our boy.”

You May Like

EDIT POST