Marquis Jefferson is considering holding a private funeral for his daughter Atatiana Jefferson after taking legal action to gain control of the funeral arrangements, an announcement from his spokesperson said Sunday.
Atatiana Jefferson was killed in her home by a Fort Worth police officer on Oct. 12 when he shot her through the window without first identifying himself as a police officer, an arrest warrant affidavit shows.
The officer believed he and his partner were on an "open structure" call, but a neighbor had called for a welfare check on the family since the front door to the home was open.
Those two calls are handled differently by officers, interim police Chief Ed Kraus said during a news conference Tuesday morning. Officials said they were unsure why the nature of the call changed during the dispatch process.
The officer who allegedly killed Jefferson, Aaron Dean, resigned from the Fort Worth Police Department on the morning of Oct. 14 before he could be fired, police officials said. He was arrested on a murder charge by a team of Fort Worth police officers later that day at the office of his attorney, Kraus said.
The shooting and Jefferson's death have since received national attention and raised calls for better, more comprehensive police training across the country.
The original service planned for Atatiana Jefferson, which was to be held Saturday, was canceled after friction among family members, including Marquis Jefferson.
The Potter's House, which was supposed to host the service Saturday afternoon, released a statement saying it had been canceled. This came after legal representatives Friday had said the service was still on.
The community had been preparing to honor the life of Atatiana "Tay" Jefferson, with a wake and funeral service.
Atatiana Jefferson's father, Marquis Jefferson, took legal action to gain full authority of Atatiana’s internment services on Friday. Marquis went to the courts to ask for a temporary restraining order giving him control over his daughter’s remains, her funeral, and burial.
Walter L. Irvin, Marquis Jefferson's lawyer, said late Friday that a Dallas probate judge earlier in the day signed an order giving his client sole right over the remains of Atatiana Jefferson.
“He’s the father of the deceased,” Irvin said. “They would not let Mr. Jefferson participate in burial arrangements. That’s why we had to seek an injunction.”
Now, two members of Atatiana Jefferson's family, her father, Marquis Jefferson, and her sister, Amber Carr, plan to meet Sunday to work on the funeral arrangements, according to an announcement from a representative for Marquis Jefferson.
Jefferson's announcement said he intends to hold a public wake on Wednesday, Oct. 23 from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m.
A funeral service is intended for Thursday, Oct. 24 but may be private "due to the obvious profiteering of his daughter's name," according to the announcement.