Breaking News Emails
A former Dallas police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black man in his own home told a 911 dispatcher she "thought it was my apartment" as she waited for emergency responders to arrive.
In the recording obtained this week by local television station WFAA, Amber Guyger, who was fired in September, identifies herself as an off-duty officer and says "I thought I was in my apartment and I shot a guy thinking that he was ... thinking it was my apartment.”
The dispatcher responded: “You shot someone?”
Guyger replied: “Yes, I thought it was my apartment. I’m f-----. Oh my God. I'm sorry.”
The Dallas Police Department said in a statement Tuesday that it did not authorize the release of the recording of Guyger's call following the shooting of Botham Jean and have launched an internal investigation into how it was obtained by WFAA.
The department said that it has received numerous open records requests for the recording but that it did not release it, citing the law enforcement exception for a pending criminal investigation granted by the Texas attorney general.
A Dallas County grand jury indicted Guyger on a murder charge in November over the Sept. 6 killing of Jean in his apartment, which was one floor above hers.
Guyger, who is white, said she was returning from her shift and was dressed in her uniform on the night she allegedly mistook Jean’s apartment for her own, according to an arrest warrant. She claimed that his door was slightly ajar and that it opened when she tried to unlock it. Guyger told investigators she thought she had encountered an intruder and that "the person did not follow her commands."
Lee Merritt, one of the attorneys for Jean's family, has said that two independent witnesses cast doubt on Guyger's narrative and told him they heard knocking on the door in the hallway before the shooting.
Jean, a 26-year-old native of St. Lucia, died at the hospital. His mother, Allison Jean, has said that he had moved to Dallas to work for accounting and consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Jean's family filed a federal lawsuit against Guyger and the city of Dallas in October, alleging Guyger used excessive force and violated his civil rights.
Guyger's trial is expected to begin in September.