/Who was Atatiana Tay Jefferson? Fort Worth woman killed by cop represented honor, integrity

Who was Atatiana Tay Jefferson? Fort Worth woman killed by cop represented honor, integrity

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The officer who shot the 28-year-old woman was identified by police only as a white male who has been on the force for about 18 months.
USA TODAY

The woman who was fatally shot through a window in her family’s Texas home by a Fort Worth police officer was a college graduate, a pharmaceutical equipment sales representative and a loving daughter who had moved back home to help care for her ailing mother, family members say.

Atatiana “Tay” Jefferson, 28, was playing video games with her 8-year-old nephew, Zion, when she was killed early Saturday after a neighbor called police because her doors had been open for hours deep into the night.

Jefferson family lawyer S. Lee Merritt said Jefferson graduated from Xavier University of Louisiana in 2014 with a degree in biology. 

“Her mom had recently gotten very sick, so she was home taking care of the house and loving her life,” Merritt said on a GoFundMe page he set up for the family that surpassed its $150,000 goal.

Amber Carr, Jefferson’s sister, is Zion’s mother. Carr said her sister had been taking care of Zion while Carr was recovering from heart surgery. 

“The relationship she had with my son was incredible,” Carr told reporters Monday. “She helped Zion every day get ready for school.”

Another sister, Ashley Carr, described Jefferson as a hard worker with a “smart, ambitious spirit” who dearly loved her family.

“Honor, integrity, commitment and service – these are the attributes of Atatiana Jefferson,” she said.

Her father, Marquis Jefferson, said Atatiana’s mother called him Saturday morning and told him his only daughter had died.

“I mean, it’s senseless,” he told CBS News. “My daughter was 28-years-old, had her whole life in front of her.”

Marquis said he is thankful for their final words.

“I texted her, I said I loved her and she texted me back and said ‘I love you too,’” he said.

Jefferson, was black. The officer, who is white, served on the force for 18 months before resigning Monday. The shooting took place less than two weeks after former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger was convicted of murdering Botham Jean, a black man shot in 2018 as he ate ice cream in his home.

After Guyger was sentenced, Jean’s brother and the judge both hugged her. Marquis Jefferson said he won’t be hugging his daughter’s shooter.

“Unlike Botham Jean, I don’t want no hug. That’s my one and only daughter,” Marquis said. “I’ll never forget that.”

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