[Fox 4 News] An off-duty Dallas police officer shot and killed a man after walking into the wrong apartment in her building just south of Downtown Dallas.
It happened around 10 p.m. Thursday. The Dallas Police Department said the officer had just finished her shift and entered what she believed was her own apartment at the South Side Flats. The complex is near the department’s headquarters on Lamar Avenue.
But it was not the right apartment and the officer ran into a man who she didn’t recognize. She ended up shooting him. She called 911 afterward, police said.
Responding officers found 26-year-old Botham Shem Jean badly wounded. He was taken to the hospital and died a short time later.
People who live nearby said they got a notification about the shooting on the app Nextdoor. They can’t believe what happened.
“Super scary because the police are supposed to protect you and then they come home and, you know, you’re just hanging out in your own house and then they come home thinking they’re home or whatever. I don’t know if she was tired but that’s pretty scary,” said Richard Healy Nelson, who lives in the complex.
Dallas Police Chief Rene Hall said in the interest of being as transparent as possible, she has invited the Texas Rangers to take over the investigation. So far they have drawn the officer’s blood and they are in the process of getting a warrant for manslaughter.
“Initial indications were that we were dealing with an officer-involved shooting. However, as we continued the investigation it became clear that we were dealing with what appears to be much of a very unique situation. Therefore, we have ceased handling it under our normal officer-involved shooting protocol,” she said.
Police will not identify the female officer until she has been formally charged. However, Chief Hall did confirm she is a white patrol officer.
There are still a lot of questions about the events leading up to the shooting. Police would not say whether the officer fired her weapon because she thought Jean was an intruder or for some other reason. It’s also not clear how she got into the wrong apartment.
Chief Hall asked the community and the media for patience and cooperation.
“Right now there are more questions than we have answers. We understand the concerns of this community and that is why we are working as vigorously and as meticulously as we can to ensure the integrity of this case,” she said.
According to Jean’s Facebook page, he was a native of Saint Lucia who graduated from Harding University in Arkansas. He worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers, a multinational audit and consulting firm with offices in Downtown Dallas.
“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,” the company said in a statement.
Former classmates from Harding University told the ChristianChronicle.org that he was known for his deep faith and his beautiful singing voice.
Harding University President Bruce McLarty shared fond memories of him after learning of his death. The university said he frequently led worship and chapel services on campus.
Chief Hall said she has been in contact with Jean’s family and offered her condolences.
“We have reassured them that we are working diligently and that we have invited an outside agency to investigate this,” she said.