Crime

‘I thought it was my apartment,’ ex-Dallas cop Amber Guyger tells 911 after shooting

A former Dallas police officer who shot an unarmed man as he stood in his apartment on Sept. 6 can be heard telling dispatchers that she thought she was inside her own apartment, according to 911 call data obtained by Star-Telegram’s media partner WFAA-TV.

Amber Guyger, 30, has been charged with murder in the shooting death of 26-year-old Botham Jean.

Jean was inside his apartment preparing to watch football when, according to court documents, Guyger entered his apartment after her shift with the Dallas Police Department. Guyger has told investigators that she believed she had entered her own apartment and Jean was an intruder. She was still wearing her uniform, but not a body camera.

She shot him as she stood by the door, according to reports.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram requested 911 audio, along with body camera footage from responding officers and other documentation related to the investigation. The Attorney General denied the newspaper’s request. However on Monday, WFAA-TV released the 911 call Guyger made after shooting Jean. The station didn’t say how it obtained the audio.

“Hi, this is an off-duty officer. Umm, can I get, I need to get EMS,” Guyger said to the operator.

“Do you need police as well or just EMS?” she was asked.

Guyger said yes and gave the operator an address. Her apartment was directly below Jean’s.

“I’m an off-duty officer,” Guyger told the operator. “I thought I was in my apartment and I shot a guy thinking he was, thinking it was my apartment.”

The operator told Guyger that help was on the way and she responded, “I know but I’m, I’m going to lose my job. I thought it was my apartment.”

Guyger can then be heard talking to Jean.

“Hey bud. Hey bud. Hey bud. Come on. Oh [expletive]. I thought it was my apartment,” and then later, “Oh my god. I’m done. I didn’t mean to. I didn’t mean to. I didn’t mean to. I’m sorry. Hey bud.”

She becomes more frantic and panicked and continued to repeat that she thought she was in her apartment. Asked what the gate code was to get inside, Guyger said she didn’t know.

During the almost six-minute phone call, Guyger said she thought she was in her apartment at least 19 times. The apartment complex, Southside Flats, in the 1200 block of South Lamar Street, is blocks away from Dallas police headquarters. Residents park on the same floor as their apartment.

In an interview with WFAA-TV, Jean’s family attorney, Darryl Washington, said it’s going to be hard for Jean’s family to hear the audio.

“There was nothing in that video or the recording where she ever indicated she thought Botham was trying to harm her,” Washington said. “She was very fast to shoot without asking very many questions.”

Guyger was originally charged with manslaughter a few days after Jean was shot. She was indicted by a Dallas County Grand Jury in November on a murder charge. Her trial is scheduled to being in late September.

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Nichole Manna is an investigative reporter for the Star-Telegram. Before moving to Fort Worth in July 2018, she covered crime and breaking news in Tennessee, North Carolina, Nebraska and Kansas. She is a 2012 graduate of Middle Tennessee State University and grew up in Florida.
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