A Dallas police officer has been charged with manslaughter in the shooting death of a 26-year-old accountant. An independent investigation by the Texas Rangers determined there was enough evidence to charge Officer Amber Guyger, who shot Botham Shem Jean at his own apartment door on Friday, Sept. 7.
Jail records show Guyger was arrested on Sunday, Sept. 9., and released on $300,000 bond.
Guyger, 30, who is also known by an alias Amy Gyger, was a member of the Dallas police force for four years. She was the only female member of an “elite critical response team of about 10 officers who make high-risk arrests in the division’s crime hot spots.”
After working a 15-hour shift (including overtime) on Friday, Guyger arrived home around 7:30 p.m. (CST) at the upscale South Side Flats apartments located several blocks from police headquarters.
She reportedly parked her car on the wrong floor of the parking deck, and walked to Mr. Jean’s apartment, which was one floor up from hers and the only apartment in the hallway with a red doormat.
When her key didn’t work in the lock, Mr. Jean opened the door, startling her.
According to the Dallas Police, Guyger, who was described as “tired,” was “confronted” by Mr. Jean when he opened his door.
No words were exchanged before Guyger unholstered her service weapon and shot Jean, who was pronounced dead at a local hospital on Friday.
Guyger’s key was still in Jean’s door lock when police and paramedics arrived.
Building management said the doors can be unlocked by a key, an electronic keypad and a key fob which is uniquely programmed for each door.
When Guyger tried to turn her key, the electronic keypad flashed red — indicating she was at the wrong door. But she continued turning the key until Jean opened the door.
A neighbor several doors down from Jean’s apartment claims she heard a cop yelling “Open up! Open up!” prior to the gunshot.
Jean was an accountant who worked as a risk assessment associate for the consulting firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers in Dallas.
He hailed from a prominent St. Lucian family of politicians and government ministers. He graduated from Harding University and he also studied accounting and mathematics at St. Mary’s College. Jean was a Young Leaders president, a member of the debate team and he sang in the choir.
He also mentored youth at the College Church of Christ in Searcy, Arkansas.
Hundreds of mourners turned out on Saturday for a “celebratory prayer vigil” at Dallas West Church of Christ on Sunday. Mourners included his mother, Allison Jean, who arrived on Saturday from her native St. Lucia.
“Botham loved God. Botham loved you. Botham loved mankind,” Allison Jean said. “Botham is singing with the angels, and I want to be in that choir. I want to see my son again.”