Atatiana Jefferson shooting: Victim's father dies of heart attack, family says

Atatiana Jefferson was fatally shot Oct. 12 by a Fort Worth police officer. Her father, Marquis Jefferson, died Saturday night.

DALLAS — The father of a woman fatally shot in her Texas home last month by a Fort Worth police officer died Saturday night, family members said.

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Marquis Jefferson died around 6:30 p.m. Saturday at a Dallas hospital, family spokesman Bruce Carter told The Dallas Morning News. He was 59.

Jefferson was the father of Atatiana Jefferson, who was playing video games with her 8-year-old nephew in the early hours of Oct. 12. Atatiana Jefferson apparently heard a noise in the backyard of her home, grabbed a handgun and walked toward a window, KXAS reported.

That's when a Fort Worth police officer, identified as Aaron Dean, 34, failed to announce himself as a police officer before he fired a shot that struck and killed the 28-year-old woman, the television station reported.

Dean resigned before he could be fired by Fort Worth police officials, WFAA reported.

Carter said Marquis Jefferson had not been ill before he was felled by the heart attack, KXAS reported.

"It's just sad because of grief. I don't know what else to say. Less than a month ago, he was working at El Centro, mentoring kids twice a week. He just couldn't get back from what happened with his daughter," Carter told the television station.

Marquis Jefferson had filed a temporary restraining order last month against some of his daughter's relatives to stop Atatiana Jefferson's funeral and gain control of the arrangements, The Washington Post reported.

The funeral was held Oct. 24 after a settlement was reached, KXAS reported.

Marquis Jefferson told KTVT last month he bonded with his daughter through their mutual passion for reading.

“When she was growing up, I read to her a lot. I bought her a lot of books,” Marquis Jefferson told the television station. “Oh, she loved to read all the time. Her mother would tell me, ‘She’s in there reading, reading, reading.’”

Atatiana Jefferson's death occurred less than two weeks after former Dallas police Officer Amber Guyger was convicted of murdering Botham Jean, a black man shot in 2018 as he ate ice cream in his home.

After Guyger was sentenced, Jean's brother and the judge hugged her.

Marquis Jefferson said last month he was not planning a similar embrace when the case went to trial.

"Unlike Botham Jean, I don't want no hug. That's my one and only daughter," Marquis Jefferson told KTVT. "I'll never forget that."