A 28-year-old Black Texas woman had her life tragically cut short on Saturday when a police officer fatally shot her in her bedroom.
Atatiana Jefferson's neighbor called 311 to conduct a welfare check after he noticed her door was left open, as the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. Two officers responded to the call. When the cop who fired the fatal shot saw a silhouette moving, he demanded the person put their hands up. That figure belonged to Jefferson. Within seconds of making the command, in which he didn't identify himself as an officer, he shot Jefferson. In the wake of her senseless killing, here are five things to know about the late Atatiana Jefferson.
1. She was a dedicated student.
Atatiana Jefferson graduated from Xavier University in Louisiana in 2014. According to her Facebook profile, she studied biology and chemistry and was on track for medical school. Videos from as early as 2012 showed her enthusiasm for Spanish and Biology. A video from 2015 has recently resurfaced, capturing a lab assignment where she is teaching viewers parts of the human skeleton.
2. Jefferson was playing video games with her nephew before she was killed.
Due to her mother's failing health, Jefferson moved in with her mother to help take care of the home. Attorney Lee Merritt told Fox 4 Jefferson was at home playing video games with her 8-year-old nephew prior to the fatal shooting.
She was 28 years old.— Holly Figueroa O'Reilly (@AynRandPaulRyan) October 13, 2019
She was playing video games with her 8-year-old nephew in her own home.
She was INSIDE THE HOUSE.
Repeat: she. was. inside. her. house. when. they. shot. her.
Say her fucking name because this shit has gone on FAR too long.#TayJefferson #AtatianaJefferson pic.twitter.com/KJGY7c4r9D
.@MeritLaw says Atatiana Jefferson was living here helping her mother that has a medical condition. Police will only stand by their statement right now. Merritt says Jefferson was up "playing video games" with her nephew. @FOX4 pic.twitter.com/i1rtOouTxl— Steven Dial (@StevenDialFox4) October 12, 2019
A North Texas cop just murdered another law abiding citizen in their home. Her name was #AtatianaJefferson “Tay”. She was playing video games with her 8y/o nephew, when they heard a noise in the backyard. When Tay went to investigate, she was shot to death. pic.twitter.com/mFJ1O2TNMK— S. Lee Merritt, Esq. (@MeritLaw) October 12, 2019
3. She was in pharmaceutical sales and worked at Xavier.
Heavy.com reports the medical professional held a position at Xavier after graduation. Jefferson's Facebook page does not go into detail about what she did, but it does mention working at the prestigious historically Black college. A GoFundMe set up for the family said she also worked as a pharmaceutical salesperson.
4. She cared about her community.
Again, Jefferson's Facebook page provides just a glimpse into her life. She once shared a petition regarding StarTran bus driver Troy Fischer. Fischer was caught on video assaulting one of his riders in 2013. Signees demanded the company disavow the man for his actions. He was fired and received only a year of probation and 100 hours of community service, according to the Lincoln Journal Star.
“When you do the crime you do the time. Crimes cannot go unpunished no matter what they are," she wrote on Facebook. "It makes a mockery of the U.S justice system if people feel comfortable enough to commit crimes. Whether this was his normal behavior or not, he should still be dealt with like any other person in that situation. If I speed I will get a ticket. I may not normally speed but that doesn’t change the fact that I have a ticket. Unless this man has a mental illness or a massive brain tumor that impaired his judgement he needs to be properly dealt with.”
5. A vigil took place to honor her life on Sunday.
Community members scheduled a vigil, which also became a protest, in Jefferson's memory for 7 p.m. on Sunday to honor her life.
A GoFundMe campaign set up for the late Jefferson's family has surpassed its goal of $50,000 in less than 24 hours. Donors can still support the family here.