Dallas police said Friday they are seeking a warrant for manslaughter against one of their own after an off-duty officer entered the wrong apartment in her building and killed a man who was inside.
Police Chief Reneé Hall said a blood sample was drawn at her request to test the officer’s drug and alcohol levels and “we are in the process of obtaining a warrant based on the circumstances.”
She said at a news conference that the Texas Rangers were launching an independent investigation.
Investigators are “working as vigorously and meticulously as we can to ensure the integrity of this case and ensure the integrity of the department is upheld,” Hall said. She said the officer, who was off-duty at the time of the shooting, would be identified pending any charges.
Further details surrounding the death of Botham Shem Jean, a 26-year-old native of the Caribbean island of St. Lucia, were not immediately provided. Hall did not say why the officer opened fire and declined to discuss what she may have been doing before she returned home after working a full shift Thursday.
Jean’s mother, Allie Jean, who lives in St. Lucia and has been visiting with a daughter this week in Brooklyn, New York, said that she wants to forgive the officer and has a question for her: Why?
“She took away my heart, she took away my soul, she took away everything,” she said. “He didn’t deserve to die like that.”
Dallas police in a statement said that preliminary information suggests the officer involved called 911, and told responding officers that “she entered the victim’s apartment believing that it was her own.”
The incident began just before 10 p.m. CT (11 p.m. ET) at the South Side Flats, an upscale apartment complex directly south of Dallas’ downtown.
During the encounter, the officer was in full uniform and “fired her weapon striking the victim,” police said.
Jean was taken to the hospital and died. The Dallas County Medical Examiner later released his identity.
At a news conference early Friday, Dallas police Sgt. Warren Mitchell said they had yet to interview the officer and would not speculate as to whether she mistakenly entered another apartment and believed the man already inside was an intruder.
“We still have a lot to do in this investigation,” Mitchell added.
Allie Jean said her son lived in a gated apartment complex and had no reason not to trust anyone who was at his door.
“He’s that kind of person,” she said.