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Crime News Breaking News

Cop Charged For Shooting Man In His Own Apartment After Mistaking It For Her Own

Amber Guyger, who had just finished her shift, reportedly parked on the wrong level of a parking garage before the fatal shooting

By Jill Sederstrom
Amber Guyger

A Dallas police officer has been charged with manslaughter after authorities say she shot and killed a man who was in his own apartment.

The officer, identified as Amber Guyger, had come home after working a 15-hour shift, but had mistakenly parked on the fourth level of the South Side Flats parking garage rather than the third floor, where her own apartment was located, according to the Dallas Morning News.

She then entered an apartment, which she believed to be her own, and noticed someone moving around in the dark. She allegedly thought her apartment was being burglarized and fired twice, striking 26-year-old Botham Jean, the actual occupant of the apartment, in the chest, the newspaper reported.

Police have said it was unclear what interaction the two had with one another before the shooting.

Botham, a black native of Saint Lucia, died from his injuries.

Guyger, a white officer, was also involved in another shooting in 2017 when she shot a suspect, according to Fox News. Police said she had been working for the department for four years and was currently assigned to the Southeast Patrol Division.

Guyger was able to gain access to the wrong apartment Thursday night at around 10 p.m. because the door had been unlocked, a law enforcement official told the Dallas Morning News. All levels of the apartment building look the same with concrete floors and tan doors, according to paper; however, Jean's door also had a red doormat outside.

After the shooting, Guyger called 911 crying and repeatedly said "I thought it was my apartment," a police official told the paper.

The Dallas Police Department turned the investigation over to the Texas Rangers, who decided to charge the officer with manslaughter. She was booked Sunday night but was released after posting $300,000 bond, CNN reported.

Jean's family had reportedly urged the arrest.

"We don't need evidence beyond a reasonable doubt at this point," the family's attorney, S. Lee Merritt, said Sunday according to CNN. "At this point, we need probable cause of a crime. And the existence of probable cause is painstakingly clear to everyone."

The family's attorneys have also suggested that race may have played a factor in the shootings.

"We're still dealing in America with black people being killed in some of the most arbitrary ways, driving while black, walking while black and now we have to add living while black," co-counsel Benjamin Crump said, according to CNN.

Jean, who worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers, has been described as a youth pastor, singer and good friend, according to Fox News.

Guyger's previous shooting incident occurred while she was on duty and a suspect took her stun gun during a struggle. Uvaldo Perez, who was wounded during the shooting, later admitted to taking to weapon from her as part of a February 2018 plea deal, Fox News reported.

[Photo: Associated Press]

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