Dallas officer who fatally shot a man will be charged with manslaughter, police say
A Dallas police officer will be charged with manslaughter after she walked into an apartment she mistakenly believed was her own on Thursday night and shot and killed a 26-year-old man who was inside, Chief Renee Hall said.
The shooting happened just before 10 p.m. at the South Side Flats at 1210 S. Lamar St., after the unidentified officer finished a full shift, police said in a news release.
She is on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation. Dallas police have handed the investigation over to the Texas Rangers and removed themselves as the lead investigative agency.
On Friday morning, police did not immediately explain how the officer became confused as to which apartment was hers, or how she managed to get into the apartment.
They didn’t immediately say how long she was in the apartment before the shooting happened, or whether she knew the victim.
Police said that “at some point,” she shot the man, then called police dispatch. Responding officers administered first aid and the man was transported to an area hospital and pronounced dead.
The officer was in full uniform at the time, police said.
Harding University identified the victim as Botham Shem Jean. He graduated from the university in 2016. He worked in Dallas at PriceWaterhouseCoopers.
Jean is from the Caribbean island Saint Lucia and according to the Christian Chronicle, he was active in church and often led the singing. Harding University is associated with the Churches of Christ.
PriceWaterhouseCoopers said on Facebook, “This is a terrible tragedy. Botham Jean was a member of the PwC family in our Dallas office and we are simply heartbroken to hear of his death.”
On his LinkedIn, Jean said he was an “aspiring young professional” and worked as a risk assurance associate for PwC.
Friends posted their memories of him on Twitter on Friday morning.
“I always saw Botham around campus,” Amy Johnson said. “He always wanted to lead in chapel in whatever way he could. He was always so nice and so kind. He was definitely a light at Harding — one who I could never forget. Prayers for his family and friends.”
Jean was a member of the Good News Singers, a resident assistant, an intern for the Rock House campus ministry, and a leader in Sub T-16 men’s social club, the university said.
“At Lectureship one year, I asked him to lead singing one night. Because of the subject, there was a particular old hymn that I asked him if he would mind leading,” President Bruce McLarty said. “He didn’t say anything about not knowing the song, but he had never heard it before in his life. He came up that evening and was just smiling and excited about leading it. He told me he had never heard the song before, but that day, he called back to St. Lucia and asked his grandmother to teach him that old hymn on the phone. So he shared it with us at Lectureship that night, and it was a truly special moment.”
According to the St. Lucia Times newspaper, Jean comes from a prominent family on the island.
He is the nephew of the chief executive officer of the Caribbean Water and Sewerage Association Inc. He is the son of the former permanent secretary in the Ministry of Education, Innovation, Gender Relations and Sustainable Development.
On Facebook, Jean’s uncle, Earl Jean, said “how can this nasty world take you away from me ....this is the worst day of my life thus far....uncle loves you so much.”
Jean’s mother, Allie Jean, told NBC News that “he did no one any wrong.”
“Somebody has to be crazy not to realize that they walked into the wrong apartment,” Allie Jean told the outlet. “He’s a bachelor. Things are different inside.”
“And if you try your key and it doesn’t work, that should make you realize you’re at the wrong apartment. Every door for each apartment is also numbered,” she said.
Mother’s Against Police Brutality said any other suspect would be in jail right now. A vigil for Jean will be held at Dallas police headquarters — at 1400 S. Lamar at 7 p.m.
Contributing: Stephen English of the Star-Telegram