DALLAS - A newly-released arrest warrant gives new insight into the night an off-duty Dallas police officer walked into the wrong apartment and killed a man she thought was a burglar in her apartment.
After getting off work, Dallas Police Officer Amber Renee Guyger got to her apartment complex at South Side Flats around 10 p.m. and parked on the fourth floor of the parking garage, according to the arrest warrant.
Guyger told investigators she thought she was walking into her apartment on the third floor that night and inserted her electronic door key into the keyhole. In actuality, she was at Botham Jean’s apartment on the fourth floor, which was right above her apartment. Guyger apparently did not notice the red welcome sign outside Jean’s apartment.
Since the door was slightly ajar and unlocked, Guyger managed to get into Jean’s apartment when she inserted her key, the arrest warrant says. After entering the apartment that was nearly completely dark, Jean went to see who was in his apartment.
“Believing she had encountered a burglar, which was described as a large silhouette, across the room in her apartment; Guyger drew her firearm, gave verbal commands that were ignored by Complainant Jean,” the arrest warrant said.
Guyger fired two shots, hitting Jean once in the torso. She then turned on the lights inside the apartment and called 911 for help.
“Upon being asked where she was located by emergency dispatchers, Guyger returned to the front door to observe the address and discovered she was in the wrong apartment,” the arrest warrant said.
"A neighbor stated he heard an exchange of words, immediately followed by at least two gunshots,” a search warrant said.
Jean was rushed to a local hospital, where he later died.
Another neighbor recording video of Officer Guyger visibly distraught, pacing the hallway after her call to 911 brought other officers to the scene.
According to a search warrant, investigators are looking into the possibility that Jean was expecting a visitor, which is why the door was unlocked. Police are looking at his cell phone and a laptop that may contain that evidence.
Attorneys for Jean's family dispute parts of the account, like leaving the door open and question the information that isn't in the affidavits.
“He's a very meticulous individual, and he was a person who was about his routines,” said family attorney Lee Merritt “That means when he comes into a room, he makes it a point to close the door behind him. He hangs his keys on a hook and puts everything in a particular place.”
“What were those commands? I didn't see it in the affidavit,” said attorney Daryl K. Washington. “It was not very specific at all. It was very broad and very vague and leaves room to add additional stuff, which leads makes us think it's attorneys who've coached the witness.”
Attorneys for the Kean family have asked for transparency. Yet, they say the release of the new court documents are simply a ploy to get sympathy for an officer.
“We stand firmly that this release of the affidavit that it's some suggestion trying to condone what happened. Trying to give her a break. ‘It's not that bad.’ Well, it is bad to the Jean family and many sensible people,” said attorney Benjamin Crump. “He is dead, and we'll never get his version of events.”
It’s unclear how Guyger did not realize Jean's apartment was not her third-floor apartment or how and why she opened fire so quickly when she entered.
Guyger has been charged with manslaughter and was arrested on Sunday shortly before posting a $300,000 bail a few hours later.