Former officer who fatally shot Atatiana Jefferson in her home indicted for murder

Atatiana Jefferson, 28, was killed in her Fort Worth home in October.

December 20, 2019, 4:26 PM

A former police officer who fatally shot a Fort Worth, Texas, woman in her home was indicted for murder on Friday, the district attorney's office confirmed to ABC News.

Fort Worth officer Aaron Dean, who is white, was answering a call for a welfare check when he shot and killed Atatiana Jefferson, who is black, in the middle of the night on Oct. 12.

Flowers lie on the sidewalk in front of the house, Oct. 14, 2019, in Fort Worth, Texas, where a police officer shot and killed Atatiana Jefferson, through a back window of her home.
David Kent/AP, FILE

Jefferson, 28, was inside her home playing video games with her 8-year-old nephew when Dean walked into her backyard and shot from outside the house, officials said.

Dean, 35, was arrested on murder charges two days after the shooting. He had resigned from the police department hours before his arrest and just before he was about to be fired for allegedly violating multiple department policies, Fort Worth Chief of Police Ed Kraus said.

This undated photo provided by the Tarrant County Jail shows Aaron Dean, the Fort Worth police officer who shot and killed a black woman through a back window of her home while responding to a call about an open front door.
Tarrant County Jail via AP

Attorney Lee Merritt, who is representing Jefferson's family, called the indictment a "major step" and said it's providing "a great deal of relief" for her family.

"What we are holding out for is a vigorous prosecution and an appropriate sentence," Merritt said at a news conference Friday.

FILE - The father of Atatiana Jefferson suffered a heart attack and died Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019, at a Dallas hospital. (Jefferson's family via AP, File)

"We are guarded in our optimism," Merritt said.

Merritt said he hopes the Tarrant County district attorney considers bringing in a special prosecutor for the case.

Dean's attorney did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment.

ABC News' Bonnie Mclean contributed to this report.

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