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(DAILY MAIL UK) – Heartbreaking first photos from inside Botham Jean’s Dallas apartment show leftover food and materials the 26-year-old had been reading when he was shot to death last Thursday by an off-duty white police officer who claimed she thought the residence was her own.
Inside Edition obtained footage from the South Side Flats apartment which shows a half-eaten cereal bowl Jean was eating from as well as The Autobiography of Gucci Mane he had been catching up on.
On a piece of furniture near the couch, a phone case, TV remote and two white sheets of paper are seen. On the couch, a large stack of pillows and blankets.
Over on the floor, one flip flop belonging Jean is lodged slightly underneath the living room cushion.
The family’s attorney, Lee Merritt, told Inside Edition he visited the complex hoping to find answers to better understand a motive behind the slaying.
Merritt said, however, he ‘didn’t find anything that provided clarity.’
When the Dallas attorney was asked if he believed officer Amber Guyger knew her black upstairs neighbor whom she gunned down, he replied: ‘Not in the sense that most people think… [not] like a past relationship.’
Guyger claimed in her affidavit that Jean’s door was already ajar when she entered and then she shot him dead after he ignored verbal commands.
But video obtained exclusively by DailyMail.com, with the aid of a neighbor living on the same floor, shows that the doors in the apartment building have uniformly heavy metal fire doors that automatically slam shut if let go.
A door could only be left ajar if it had been deliberately positioned that way with a door stopper.
Further, as a second DailyMail.com video shows, officer Guyger could not have used her key to force open the door of Jean, whose funeral was held today, despite claiming to have done so in her statement to Texas Rangers.
At the very least, she would have been warned that she was at the wrong door because the unique electronically coded keys used in the South Side Flats building flash red if inserted in the wrong door.
The neighbor, who lives two doors down from cop Amber Guyger, 30, but asked not to be named, said he did not believe the petite blonde would have been able to force her way in.
Pointing to his own heavy metal door, the same as both Jean’s and Guyger’s, he said: ‘These are fire doors. You can’t really leave it open.
‘The key situation too – you can’t get into any place, you can’t. It’s impossible. You can put it in but you can’t open it.
‘You can put it into somebody else’s key hole but you can’t open anything. This key isn’t programmed for my door – if I put it in, nothing happens apart from this red light.’
In her statement to police, a version of which is included in an arrest warrant for Guyger seen by DailyMail.com, the 30-year-old claimed she had arrived outside Jean’s fourth floor apartment by accident.
She said she had parked on the fourth floor of the parking lot instead of the third and had gone to open the door of his apartment, assuming it was hers.
Photos obtained by DailyMail.com do show that the corridors on both floors appear similar but Jean’s apartment had a red semi-circular door mat outside, while Guyger’s did not.
Apartment door numbers are also clearly visible and lit up in neon, placed in a panel to one side of the door.
According to Guyger’s statement, Jean’s door had been left slightly ajar and opened when she forced her key into the lock.
Her statement is at odds with initial reports of the incident and with statements made by neighbors to the Jean family’s attorney Merritt who said they heard her banging and shouting: ‘Let me in, let me in.’
Another neighbor, a Costa Rican woman who also asked not to be named, said: ‘People say they heard her knocking and that doesn’t make sense.
‘I guess he must have opened the door and she saw a black man inside what she thought was her apartment and so she went ahead and shot him.’
Once inside, Guyger claimed in her statement that she thought Jean was a burglar and shot at him twice – hitting him once, fatally, in the chest.
Video of the immediate aftermath shows her pacing the corridor and screaming, ‘Oh my God’ repeatedly.
Guyger turned herself in to Kaufmann County police on Sunday evening – three days after the fatal shooting – and has now been charged with manslaughter and released on a $300,000 bond.
She has so far declined to answer calls placed by DailyMail.com.
DailyMail.com can also reveal that Guyger had made noise complaints about Jean to the building management in the days before his death.
Her neighbor, a Hispanic man in his mid-20s, said she had been cross about him making noise early in the mornings.
He said: ‘She filed a noise complaint earlier on in the day which said that he had been making noise before she leaves for her shift.’
The family lawyer Merritt confirmed his account in an interview with CNN, telling the channel: ‘The only connection we have been able to make is that she was his immediate downstairs neighbor.
‘And there were noise complaints from the immediate downstairs neighbors about whoever was upstairs, and that would have been Botham.
‘In fact, there were noise complaints that very day about upstairs activity in Botham’s apartment. Botham received a phone call about noise coming from his apartment from the downstairs neighbor.’
According to Guyger’s neighbor, the building’s walls are soundproofed while the ceilings are not – a potential cause for conflict.
‘We can hear when somebody opens the door. You can’t really hear anything through the walls but you can definitely hear when somebody knocks or opens the door.
‘Sometimes I can hear the people above me every once in a while, that’s all I ever hear. The only thing I can think of is I can just hear people running but this guy [Jean], he didn’t seem like the kind of guy who’d be running around up there.
‘I don’t know what the noise complaint would be – I can’t hear the TV [from above], I don’t hear anything like that.’
Guyger had been living in the South Side Flats apartment complex for just over a month prior to the incident.
The block, which contains 288 units over five storys, was built in 2015 and includes a mixture of studios and one and two bedroom apartments.
Prices at the block, in Dallas’ rapidly gentrifying South Side area, start at $945 per month, rising to $2,435. The Dallas Police Headquarters on Lamar Street is directly next door.
It is unclear how long Jean, a graduate of Harding University in Arkansas, had lived in the block but both he and Guyger appeared to have good relationships with their neighbors.
One told DailyMail.com that Guyger had been ‘real nice’ while another said she appeared to live a very normal life.
The man said: ‘She pretty much does the same thing I do – go to work, come home and sit on the balcony and have a cool beer and that’s about it.’
Another resident on the same floor as Guyger said: ‘I’d always say hi to her and she’d always say hi back but we didn’t speak much.
‘She was friendly enough but we were always rushing out when we met each other so I can’t say for sure.’
Guyger is currently believed to be staying with her sister Alana in a different part of town, while she waits to find out if she will face further charges.
Jean is due to be laid to rest on Thursday afternoon, with the funeral due to be held at the Greenville Avenue Church of Christ in Richardson, Texas.