FORT WORTH, TX (KTVT) — Senseless — That’s how Atatiana Jefferson‘s father describes her death.
One day after a Fort Worth police officer shot Jefferson inside her residence, flowers and candles sit outside the home on E. Allen Avenue.
Her family is still processing her death and have a lot of questions.
They told CBS 11’s Erin Jones that Jefferson had so much going for her and something good has to come out of this. Now, they’re working on a way to keep her memory alive.
Her father, Marquis Jefferson, woke up Saturday morning only to find out his only daughter had died.
“Her mother called me yesterday morning. She say ‘Tay was shot,’” he recalled. “I mean it’s senseless. My daughter was 28. My daughter was 28-years-old. Had her whole life in front of her.”
Around 2:30 a.m. Oct. 12, Fort Worth police arrived at Jefferson’s house for a welfare check after her neighbor called them concerned that her front door was open.
“I have nothing against the neighbor,” Marquis said. “If you see something going on at my house with my daughter… you need to call police. But it’s the way that the police acted.”
In the officer’s body cam video — an officer is seen walking through Jefferson’s backyard to a bedroom window where she was standing.
And not even a full second after ordering her to put her hands up, she was shot dead.
“You have to know that was somebody’s daughter,” he said. “Somebody loved her and there was a better way. It didn’t have to be like that.”
Although still processing his daughter’s death, Marquis said he is thankful for their final words.
“I texted her, I said I loved her and she texted me back and said ‘I love you too,’” he told Jones.
He shared that the two held a very special bond.
“When she was growing up, I read to her a lot. I bought her a lot of books,” Marquis said. “Oh she loved to read all the time. Her mother would tell me ‘She’s in there reading, reading, reading.’”
Reading fueled her passion for learning and guided her to a pre-med degree from Xavier University. Up until her death, she was working in pharmaceutical equipment sales, saving up for medical school.
Jefferson’s step-mother, Noella Jefferson, said her step-daughter had hopes, dreams and aspirations.
“We lost her for no reason,” Noella said. “We’ve seen many cases like this, where you think someone had learned from it, but we think there’s a low learning curve here for the police department and we need to see how can we make it better.”
She added that the department needs to advance their training, so no other family has to go through this.
“Unlike Botham Jean, I don’t want no hug. That’s my one and only daughter,” Marquis said. “I’ll never forget that.”
Jefferson’s father also mentioned a donation page was set up in his daughter’s honor, but he said he has not been contacted about it and will be paying for his daughter’s funeral with his own money.
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