A Police Officer Walked Into 26-Year-Old Black Man’s Apartment, Thinking It Was Her Own — Then Killed Him
A white Dallas police officer is facing manslaughter charges for shooting dead a black man in his home after she entered his apartment thinking it was her own.
The unnamed female officer was off duty and returning home from work Thursday night when she entered 26-year-old Botham Shem Jean’s apartment.
Dallas authorities say the uniformed officer was confronted by Jean, pulled her gun on him and fired.
The officer called 911, and Dallas Fire Rescue rushed the man to the hospital. When authorities arrived she told them she mistook Jean’s apartment for her own.
Jean, who grew up on the Caribbean Island of St Lucia and worked as a PricewaterhouseCoopers associate, was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.
A blood sample was drawn from the female officer to determine her drug and alcohol levels, Police Chief Renee Hall said in a press conference Friday afternoon.
Dallas police are now seeking a warrant for manslaughter charges against the cop.
Hall confirmed that the officer is white, but she did not say whether investigators believe race was a factor in the shooting.
She added that the officer would be identified pending any charges.
The shooting happened just before 10pm at South Side Flats, an upscale apartment complex in downtown Dallas.
The victim was treated at the scene before he was taken to the hospital and died.
Authorities have not said how the officer got into Jean’s home, or whether his door was open or unlocked. The apartment complex is just a few blocks from Dallas’ police headquarters.
Hall said it’s also not clear whether there was any interaction between the two before Jean was shot.
‘Right now there are more questions than there are answers,’ Hall said.
After moving to the US, Jean attended Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas, where he often led campus worship services before graduating in 2016, the school said in a statement.
That July, he went to work for PwC in risk assurance.
In a news conference Friday morning Sergeant Warren Mitchell acknowledged there are many questions about what happened that he couldn’t answer.
‘We still have a lot to do in this investigation,’ he said.
Mitchell said that the officer was not injured and will be placed on administrative leave during the investigation.
Residents of the apartment complex said they can access their units with a regular key or through a keypad code.
Two women who live on the second floor near where the shooting happened said they heard a lot of noise late Thursday.
‘It was, like, police talk: ”Open up! Open up!”’ 20-year-old Caitlin Simpson told The Dallas Morning News.
Yazmine Hernandez, 20, was studying with Simpson when they heard the commotion.
‘We heard cops yelling, but otherwise had no idea what was going on,’ Hernandez said.