To hear Amber Guyger tell the story, she believed that she was shooting at an intruder when she entered into the wrong apartment on the wrong floor of the complex where she lives after getting home at around 10 p.m. from her shift at the Dallas Police Department.
An arrest affidavit released Monday afternoon gave more insight from Guyger’s perspective as to what she claimed happened the night she shot and killed 26-year-old Botham Shem Jean inside his own apartment last week, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.
Guyger, the affidavit notes, did not check that the apartment was hers until after she shot Jean. There are still questions however, left in my mind, as to how you could enter the wrong apartment, even if it is dark, and not realize that it is not yours.
Guyger’s actual apartment is apparently directly below Jean’s. Jean was home alone when Guyger went to his front door.
“She inserted a unique door key, with an electronic chip, into the door key hole,” the affidavit reads. “The door, which was slightly ajar prior to Guyger’s arrival, fully opened under the force of the key insertion.”
Once the door opened, Guyger saw Jean across the room, describing his figure as a “large silhouette” and believed him to be an intruder.
“Guyger drew her firearm, gave verbal commands that were ignored by Jean,” the affidavit says. “As a result, Guyger fired her handgun two times striking [Jean] one time in the torso.”
Guyger then went into Jean’s apartment and called 911. And this is where it gets interesting, because she turned on the lights, but it was apparently only when dispatchers asked her where she was and Guyger went back to the front door did she realize she was in the wrong apartment, according to the affidavit.
Again, I have to question, at this point how do you turn on the lights and not realize that none of the furnishings in this building are yours? Or is it a requirement that everyone who lives in this complex only purchase identical furnishings from Ikea or something?
Despite what the affidavit claims, Lee Merritt, the attorney representing Jean’s family brushed off the narrative.
“They’re trying to put this out to get sympathy from the public,” he slammed.
Merritt said that two witnesses, sisters who also live in the complex gave statements that directly contradict the affidavit’s claims.
“One happened to be in a quiet room reading a book so she was in the best position to hear things,” Merritt said. “She heard pounding at the door. The other one [witness] was in the living room [of her own apartment] watching TV. She also heard the same pounding at the door.”
The sister who was reading a book also heard shouting.
“She heard, ‘Let me in!’ followed by ‘Let me in!’ in an elevated tone and then she heard more pounding at the door,” Merritt said. “Then shortly thereafter she heard gunshots.”
One witness said that she believed she heard what was Jean’s final words, ““Which was, ‘Oh my God, why did you do that?’ and there was nothing heard after,” Merritt said.
There were other things, like the furnishings, that Merritt said should have indicated to Guyger that she was not in the right apartment. For example, Jean had a red doormat in front of his door, which Guyger did not. Also Guyger has a dog, which she apparently didn’t realize was missing through the whole incident.
“Not only at the front of his door (the red rug outside) but all around his apartment. This is his apartment, this wasn’t her apartment,” Merritt said. “There wouldn’t be the same smell. There wouldn’t be the same furniture. There wouldn’t be the same lighting patterns. There would’ve been a number of identifying markers to alert her including the absence of her dog.”
Guyger was ultimately arrested on Sunday evening, three days after the shooting, and released from jail after posting $300,000 bond.
The case is expected to be put before a grand jury, which will decide whether or not to charge Guyger with manslaughter, the charge she is facing right now, and/or more serious charges.
“Trust me, we will present to the grand jury everything that we can possibly present to them,” District Attorney Faith Johnson Johnson said at a news conference Monday morning.
A blood sample was taken from Gugyer to test for drugs and alcohol, but Merritt noted that it could take months before the results are ready.
“We know that what she’s claiming happened didn’t happen. What we get from that arrest affidavit is that she’s hiding something because she’s making statements that are demonstrably false. We’re encouraging any witnesses to come forward,” Merritt told ESSENCE Wednesday morning.
It is difficult to buy that narrative, and if she was sober and truly did ignore all those obvious signs…is this someone who should be a cop in the first place?