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(DALLAS MORNING NEWS) – The death of Botham Jean has sparked outrage and questions over what happened the night the 26-year-old was killed in his apartment by a Dallas police officer.
Officer Amber Guyger, 30, has said she mistook Jean’s apartment at the South Side Flats in the Cedars for her own, which was exactly one floor below, and shot him thinking he was an intruder. She has been charged with manslaughter.
The Dallas County district attorney is investigating, and the case will go before a grand jury that will decide what charge or charges Guyger will be tried on. Dallas police will also do an internal investigation, but that won’t start until the criminal investigation is concluded.
Here is a timeline based on Dallas Morning News reporting of the developments and documents released in the case as it makes its way through the criminal justice system:
Guyger shoots Jean once in the chest about 10 p.m. in his apartment at South Side Flats in the Cedars. She called 911 and paramedics took him to Baylor University Medical Center, where he died.
The Dallas County district attorney’s office public integrity division response team begins its independent investigation, as it typically does in shootings involving officers.
A blood sample is drawn from Guyger either late Sept. 6 or early Sept. 7.
Police Chief U. Renee Hall announces that the case is no longer being investigated as an officer-involved shooting and that she will be seeking a warrant for Guyger’s arrest.
Police say Guyger has not been interviewed.
The chief says the Texas Rangers have been called in to conduct an independent investigation.
Guyger is placed on administrative leave.
Dallas police obtain a search warrant for Jean’s apartment. The warrant states Guyger went to the apartment and was confronted at the door by an unknown male who she may have thought was an intruder. A neighbor said he heard an exchange of words immediately followed by two gunshots.
The warrant also lists items seized during the search. Those details are not made public until Sept. 13.
The Rangers take over the investigation.
Hall says a judge had not yet signed the warrant because the Texas Rangers were interviewing Guyger and wanted to investigate new information they had learned before issuing one.
Police release Guyger’s name about 8 p.m. despite previously declining to confirm the officer’s identity until she was formally charged.
Guyger turns herself in to Kaufman County authorities and is charged with manslaughter. She is shown in the jail log as being admitted at 7:20 p.m. with bail set at $300,000.
Within an hour, she posts bond and is released.
The Rangers turn over the caseto the Dallas County district attorney’s office after completing an initial investigation. A fuller Rangers investigation is ongoing.
The Texas Rangers arrest warrant affidavit is made public. According to the document, Guyger told authorities she had mistakenly parked on the fourth floor instead of the third and inserted her key into Jean’s door, which was slightly ajar.
She told authorities the apartment was nearly completely dark and she thought she was being burglarized, gave verbal commands that were ignored and fired twice. She then called 911, gave first aid and turned on the lights. When 911 dispatch asked where she was, she returned to the front door to see the address and realized the apartment wasn’t hers, the affidavit states.
The affidavit also includes details about the Rangers search warrant for Jean’s apartment and says that they thought he may have been expecting a visitor. Because a search warrant or consent is required to search a home and Jean was not able to give consent, police asked a judge for a search warrant.
The district attorney’s office, which typically conducts a separate investigation into shootings involving police, executes a search warrant seizing electronic door locks from both Jean’s and Guyger’s apartments, data that could confirm whether Guyger went home before going to Jean’s apartment.
They also collected photos and videos from Jean’s apartment as well as gunshot residue and laser measurements of the firearm trajectory.
The underlying affidavit outlining probable cause for the warrant was sealed.
Another search warrant is granted to obtain surveillance footage from the night of the shooting and all entry and access logs for the complex.
Jean’s is honored at a funeral at the Greenville Avenue Church of Christ in Richardson. He will be buried in St. Lucia.
The Dallas police search warrant, which contains details about what was found in Jean’s apartment, is returned and made public by a judge.
Items police found inside his apartment include two fired cartridge casings, a laptop, ballistic vest with “police” markings, 10.4 grams of marijuana and a marijuana grinder and two used packages of medical aid. The warrant does not specify whom the items belong to.
Court records for the district attorney’s office warrants are made public.
Jean’s mother demands that Guyger be fired from the Dallas Police Department. She also criticized the release of the search warrant the day before, saying her son has been “smeared” and that people are covering up for Guyger, who she refers to as the devil.
An email to residents obtained by WFAA-TV (Channel 8) states that Guyger no longer lives at South Side Flats. It does not say when she moved.
Chief Hall fires Guyger, saying an internal investigation dictated that the officer had engaged in “adverse conduct” when she was charged with manslaughter. The firing came after weeks of public calls for her termination — and explanations from Hall for why she couldn’t terminate the officer yet.
Jean’s funeral is held in St. Lucia.
Jean’s family files a federal suit against Guyger and the city of Dallas claiming Guyger used excessive force and violated Jean’s constitutional and civil rights. The suit also states the police chief, City Council and city manager failed to implement and enforce measures for the Police Department “that respected Jean’s constitutional rights.”
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