Of­fi­cer’s ac­count backed

2 say clues at scene sup­port part of her story, but ‘we just don’t know’ if door was ajar

The Dallas Morning News - - Front Page - By JENNIFER EMILY Staff Writer jemily@dal­las­news.com

Ev­i­dence from Botham Jean’s apart­ment sup­ports Dal­las po­lice Of­fi­cer Amber Guyger’s ac­count that she shot Jean from across the room as she stood in­side his apart­ment door, two law en­force­ment of­fi­cials with di­rect knowl­edge of the case told The Dal­las Morn­ing News.

The ev­i­dence, at least so far, doesn’t con­clu­sively show whether the door was un­locked or ajar.

“We just don’t know,” said one of the two law en­force­ment of­fi­cials, who spoke on the con­di­tion of anonymity be­cause they weren’t au­tho­rized to dis­cuss the case pub­licly.

Jean’s fam­ily has said they don’t be­lieve he would have left the door open.

Court records ob­tained Thurs­day show Dal­las po­lice also found, among other things, two spent car­tridge cas­ings and 10.4 grams of mar­i­juana in the apart­ment. The law en­force­ment of­fi­cials said the mar­i­juana was on the kitchen counter.

An at­tor­ney for the fam­ily was not avail­able for com­ment Thurs­day.

Guyger, who lives di­rectly be­low Jean, shot and killed him around 10 p.m. Sept. 6. She has said she drove to the wrong level of the park­ing garage and mis­took his apart­ment for her own. Guyger told po­lice that the door was ajar and that she thought Jean was an in­truder.

The two shell cas­ings were found just in­side the door, in­di­cat­ing that that’s where Guyger was stand­ing when she fired her gun, one of­fi­cial said.

That of­fi­cial said there was no blood near the door that would have in­di­cated Jean was there when he was shot. There was “a small amount along the paramedics’ route with Botham,” one of the of­fi­cials said. “But that was mostly out­side the apart­ment.”

Blood was taken from Guyger to test for drugs and al­co­hol. Sim­i­lar tests are con­ducted dur­ing au­top­sies. The re­sults have not been made pub­lic, and the tests may not yet be com­pleted.

Jean’s death has prompted protests in Dal­las about the shoot­ing of a black man in his own home by a white po­lice of­fi­cer who shouldn’t have been there. Guyger was charged Sun­day with man­slaugh­ter.

Con­flict­ing ver­sions?

Crit­ics of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion say af­fi­davits by the Dal­las Po­lice Depart­ment and the Texas Rangers, which took over the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, of­fer con­flict­ing ac­counts, an in­di­ca­tion that Guyger’s ac­count changed.

A search war­rant ob­tained by Dal­las po­lice says “an un­known male, in­side the apart­ment con­fronted the of­fi­cer at the door.” An­other af­fi­davit, ob­tained by the Texas Rangers to ar­rest Guyger three days af­ter the shoot­ing, says Jean was “across the room” when the of­fi­cer walked through the door.

The Dal­las po­lice search war­rant was ob­tained Sept. 7, just hours af­ter the shoot­ing. A po­lice spokesman said later the same day that in­ves­ti­ga­tors had not yet in­ter­viewed Guyger, who called 911 to re­port the shoot­ing. Guyger was in­ter­viewed by Texas Rangers be­fore that agency ob­tained the ar­rest war­rant on Sun­day.

One of the law en­force­ment of­fi­cials said Guyger has al­ways said she was in the door­way but Jean was not. The same of­fi­cial said Jean was 12 to 15 feet away from the door when first re­spon­ders ar­rived.

‘Where he stood’

“That is where he stood when he was shot and where he fell,” that law en­force­ment of­fi­cial said.

Guyger said that the apart­ment was dark and that when she saw “a large sil­hou­ette,” she thought she was be­ing bur­glar­ized, the ar­rest war­rant af­fi­davit says. She said she drew her gun, “gave ver­bal com­mands that were ig­nored” by the man she took to be a bur­glar and fired twice, in­ves­ti­ga­tors wrote.

Jean was struck once in the torso and was rushed to Bay­lor Univer­sity Med­i­cal Cen­ter, where he was pro­nounced dead.

Guyger had parked on the fourth floor in­stead of the third, where her apart­ment is, law en­force­ment and Mayor Mike Rawlings have said. The law en­force­ment of­fi­cial said Guyger told po­lice she had been car­ry­ing her heavy pro­tec­tive vest when she ar­rived at Jean’s apart­ment. It was in the apart­ment when first re­spon­ders ar­rived.

Along with Guyger’s bal­lis­tic vest, in­ves­ti­ga­tors seized a black back­pack with po­lice equip­ment and pa­per­work in­side and “two pack­ages of used med­i­cal aid,” the war­rant says. A metal mar­i­juana grinder was also found in the apart­ment.

Wit­ness ac­counts

An at­tor­ney for Jean’s fam­ily, Lee Mer­ritt, has said two in­de­pen­dent wit­nesses have come for­ward to say they heard knock­ing on the door in the hall­way be­fore the shoot­ing. Mer­ritt said one wit­ness re­ported hear­ing a woman’s voice say­ing, “Let me in, let me in.” Then they heard gun­shots, he said.

The law en­force­ment of­fi­cial said po­lice spoke to one of those wit­nesses the night of the shoot­ing and the wit­ness did not of­fer that ac­count to po­lice. Law en­force­ment, how­ever, is look­ing into those ac­counts.

There had also been com­plaints about noise com­ing from Jean’s apart­ment. Mer­ritt told CNN the com­plaints came from Jean’s “im­me­di­ate down­stairs neigh­bors.” He did not say whether Guyger had com­plained.

Guyger was at work dur­ing the day and had just ended a 15-hour shift when she shot Jean.

Noise com­plaints

Mer­ritt and the law en­force­ment of­fi­cial said there had been a noise com­plaint the day Jean was shot. The law en­force­ment of­fi­cial said Jean told his girl­friend that two women from the leas­ing of­fice came by his apart­ment af­ter he got off work and he wasn’t play­ing mu­sic at the time.

Jean worked for the ac­count­ing firm Price­wa­ter­house­coop­ers and was known as “Bo.” His fu­neral was Thurs­day, and his body will be flown to the Caribbean is­land of St. Lu­cia, where he is from.

Guyger is free on a $300,000 bond af­ter turn­ing her­self in at the Kauf­man County Jail.

Ver­non Bryant/staff Pho­tographer

Ev­i­dence from Botham Jean’s apart­ment at the South Side Flats sup­ports Of­fi­cer Amber Guyger’s ac­count that she shot him from across the room as she stood in­side his apart­ment door, two law en­force­ment of­fi­cials say. The ev­i­dence, at least so far, doesn’t con­clu­sively show whether the door was un­locked or ajar, as Guyger has said.

Sha­ban Athu­man/staff Pho­tographer

Dal­las Po­lice Chief U. Reneé Hall and City Man­ager T.C. Broad­nax at­tended a City Coun­cil meet­ing Wed­nes­day that the Next Gen­er­a­tion Ac­tion Net­work dis­rupted tem­po­rar­ily by chant­ing, “No Jus­tice, no peace.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.