The former police officer from Fort Worth, Texas who fatally shot 28-year-old Atatiana Jeffersoninside her home has been indicted for murder.
35-year-old Aaron Dean was indicted by a Texas grand jury on Friday after he was charged with the murder back in October. Dean shot Jefferson through her bedroom window while responding to a welfare check around 2:30 a.m. on Oct. 12, and he “didn’t have time to perceive a threat” before opening fire, the family’s attorney, Lee Merritt, said.
Jefferson was playing video games with her 8-year-old nephew moments before her death.
Police have said that Dean’s body camera footage showed that he didn’t identify himself before he fired his weapon.
The footage released by FWPD shows two officers searching the outside of the home with flashlights before one shouts, “Put your hands up, show me your hands.” The officer gave Jefferson four seconds to respond before shooting and killing her.
Dean would have been fired but was dishonorably discharged from the department.
“Had the officer not resigned, I would have fired him for violations for several policies, including our use of force policy, our de-escalation policy and unprofessional conduct,” Police Chief Ed Kraus told reporters.
Attorney Lee Merritt called the indictment a “major step.”
“What we are holding out for is a vigorous prosecution and an appropriate sentence,” he said at a news conference Friday.
“We are guarded in our optimism,” Merritt said.
Jefferson was a pre-medicine graduate of Xavier University of Louisiana and was working in pharmaceutical equipment sales.