(Reuters) - A Dallas police officer will be charged with manslaughter after mistakenly entering an apartment she thought was hers and fatally shooting the man who lived there, authorities said on Friday.
The officer had completed a shift late on Thursday and was still in uniform when she returned to what she believed was her home and encountered 26-year-old Botham Shem Jean, Dallas police chief U. Renee Hall said at a news conference.
“It’s not clear what (the) interaction was between her and the victim,” Hall said. “But at some point, she fired her weapon, striking the victim. She called 911.”
“Right now, there are more questions than we have answers,” the chief said. “We understand the concern of this community.”
The officer is white, while her victim was a black man whose family is from the Caribbean island of Saint Lucia, Hall said.
The St. Lucia Times reported that Jean was the son of a former permanent secretary for two governmental ministries of St. Lucia and he had been employed by PricewaterhouseCoopers and lived in a gated community. PricewaterhouseCoopers spokeswoman Megan DiSciullo told Reuters that Jean had worked in the company’s Dallas office for two years.
Citing a relative of Jean, the newspaper reported that the officer lived on another floor of the same complex.
Hall said the Texas Rangers would take over the investigation because of the “unique” nature of the incident. Hall said the officer would be publicly identified after she was officially charged.
The chief said blood was drawn from the officer to test for alcohol or drugs in her system.
She said emergency responders had arrived within four minutes of being called, and Jean was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Reporting by Bernie Woodall in Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Editing by Bernadette Baum