Fort Worth Star-Telegram Reporter Jack Howland spoke with James Smith, a neighbor from across the street who placed a call to police around 2 a.m. after seeing that two doors on the home were ajar and the lights on.
Smith told Howland that he called a non-emergency Fort Worth police number, asking for a wellness check on his neighbor, who lived with an aunt that had been in the hospital and her 8-year-old nephew.
Smith told the Star-Telegram that he was “shaken” by the incident, and said he took part of the blame.
“If I had never dialed the police department, she’d still be alive,” Smith said.
“It makes you not want to call the police department,” he added. “If you don’t feel safe with the police department, then who do you feel safe with?”
According to her Facebook page, Jefferson was born in Dallas and attended Xavier University of Louisiana, studying biology. A 2015 YouTube video shows her performing a class anatomy exercise on a model skeleton and a friend. A 2012 video showed her practicing Spanish with another friend. Her Facebook cover photo was of pieces of pretzels she had broken up and arranged to spell the word "Love."
The Forth Worth shooting comes weeks after Amber Guyger, a former cop in neighboring Dallas, was found guilty of murder for fatally shooting her unarmed neighbor in his apartment. Her neighbor, Botham Jean, was a 26-year-old black man from Saint Lucia.