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Aaron Dean indicted on murder charge in shooting of Atatiana Jefferson

Atatiana Jefferson, 28, was inside her home when Aaron Dean shot her through a window in October.

Updated at 5:36 p.m. with information from a news conference. 

Former Fort Worth police officer Aaron Dean has been indicted on a murder charge in the death of Atatiana Jefferson. 

Jefferson, 28, was playing video games with her 8-year-old nephew when Dean walked into her backyard. She had gotten up to look out the window when she was shot, police records show. 

Dean, 35, was indicted Friday by a Tarrant County grand jury. 

The family has asked that a special prosecutor handle the case. 

Yolanda Carr, Jefferson's mother, said she was pleased with the indictment. 

Carr has been in and out of the hospital since September and relied on Jefferson to help with her medical needs. She spoke from her hospital bed through a video call Friday afternoon during a news conference. 

"My God, I was so happy to hear that the man who shot my daughter is indicted for murder," Carr said. "Justice was served on that part, but I know we got a long way to go." 

A neighbor had called police requesting a welfare check after he saw the door open at the Fort Worth home. The officers were told it was an "open structure" call. They parked around the corner. 

Dean's body camera footage shows the officer look through the glass storm door before walking around the side of the house, opening a gate to the backyard, peering around the corner and then walking into the backyard. 

The officer fired from outside the house into the window, striking Jefferson. Her nephew told investigators that his aunt "yelled out in pain," according to an arrest warrant affidavit. 

Credit: Courtesy photo
Atatiana Jefferson

RELATED: Atatiana Jefferson 'yelled out in pain' after she was shot, officer's arrest warrant says

The arrest warrant states three times that Dean did not announce that he was a police officer when he walked around the house.  

Dean did not give any statement to Fort Worth investigators on why he shot, officials said.

In such investigations, it's common for a police officer to give a statement to investigators and to the internal affairs division of their police department

Dean resigned before he could be fired, Fort Worth Police Department officials said. 

The officer who was dispatched with Dean only saw “Jefferson’s face through the window” when Dean shot once into the house, the warrant says. 

Jefferson's nephew told police that his aunt had taken her handgun from her purse before she looked out the window, the affidavit says. 

Missing Christmas

The holidays will not be the same without Jefferson, her family said. 

"She won't be home for Christmas," Carr said while weeping. "He murdered my baby. She wasn't doing anything in her home, she didn't do anything wrong." 

Jefferson's sister Ashley Carr thanked members of the grand jury who indicted Dean. 

"I know that there's still a lot we still have to work forward to for the justice of my sister's murder," Carr said. "I am grateful for those people who were on the jury." 

Her sister's birthday fell on Thanksgiving this year, adding to the family's grief. 

"My sister would take her nephews to get hot cocoa or look at Christmas lights and they're missing those things with her," Ashley Carr said. 

Civil attorneys Justin Moore and Lee Merritt represent the family. 

"We don't need anyone with any ties to that police department or any law enforcement agency in the area," Moore said of the family's request for a special prosecutor. 

Merritt said if the Tarrant County District Attorney's Office does try the case, he wants "the full force of that office to go into this prosecution."

RELATED: Body camera reenactment shows Fort Worth officer's path to Atatiana Jefferson's window

RELATED: Who was Atatiana Jefferson? Woman killed by Fort Worth police officer in her home

RELATED: Who is Aaron Dean and what might his attempted defense be?

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