DALLAS, Texas — On Sept. 6, Botham Jean, a 26-year-old black accountant, was shot by his downstairs neighbor, a 30-year-old white officer named Amber Guyger.
While the shooting and the ensuing investigation at the hands of the Texas Rangers have spurred contentious debate, one fact that's clear is Jean's death is a tragedy.
More than two months after the shooting, a grand jury indicted Guyger on a murder charge, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the case.
Here's the timeline of events:
SEPT. 6 (LATE EVENING): THE SHOOTING
After a more than 13-hour shift, Guyger drives to the South Side Flats Thursday evening in Dallas. According to her account, she accidentally parks on the fourth floor of the parking lot, a floor above from where she normally parks.
Believing she was on the third level, Guyger alleges, she walked to what she thought was her apartment. It wasn't. It was Jean's unit, located directly above her residence. At some point, the off-duty officer, still in uniform, makes contact with an unarmed Jean, who she shoots twice. Guyger calls 911 at about 10 p.m. and Jean is transported to a nearby hospital where he's pronounced dead.
SEPT 7. (EARLY MORNING): NEWS BREAKS
News of Jean's shooting death breaks. Dallas police reveal an unnamed officer shot and killed a man she believed to be an intruder. DPD says the officer has been placed on administrative leave and that they're working with the Dallas County District Attorney's Office on the investigation.
Later in the morning, the Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Office identifies the victim as Botham Shem Jean, a native of Saint Lucia in the Caribbean who moved from Arkansas where he graduated from Harding University to Dallas to work at PricewaterhouseCoopers.
SEPT 7. (AFTERNOON): ARREST WARRANT ON THE WAY?
Chief Renee Hall holds a press conference to pledge the Dallas Police Department will be transparent during the investigation. Hall says blood was drawn from the officer involved for alcohol and drug testing.
"And at my request, we are in the process of obtaining a warrant based on the circumstances we have right now," Hall says. The chief also reveals they have asked the Texas Rangers to conduct an independent investigation of the case. She also says it's still unclear "what interaction was between them [the officer and Botham]" that led to the shooting. The officer's identity isn't revealed. It's expected the officer will be charged with manslaughter.
SEPT 7. (EVENING): RUMORS AND CONFUSION SWIRL
As demand for the identity of the officer grows, rumors begin to swirl and so do various accounts of what happened from unnamed sources.
Among the rumors on social media is a photo of Botham Jean with three white females. This photo is shared on multiple social media platforms with people claiming one of the women is the officer involved in the shooting who dated Botham. It's later disproved when Amber Guyger is identified. However, the photo still pops up on social media posts.
To add to the confusion, conflicting accounts from sources of what led to the shooting also spread, with some accounts ending up in the news.
A vigil for Jean takes place outside the Dallas Police Department with people demanding answers.
SEPT. 8 (MORNING/AFTERNOON): POLICE "HOLD OFF" ON WARRANT
As Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings meets with Jean's mother, citizens continue to await news of a warrant. The mayor says Jean's mother told him, "I'm not angry. I'm heartbroken, and I want to make sure all of the truth is told." The mayor asks Dallas residents to be patient with the Texas Rangers.
Chief Hall later says "we [the Dallas Police Department] have no role in the investigation process." She also says the Rangers asked her to "hold off" on issuing a warrant for the officer, who still hasn't been identified.
SEPT. 8 (EVENING): OFFICER AMBER GUYGER IDENTIFIED
At 7:16 p.m., Officer Amber Guyger, a four-year veteran with the Dallas Police Department, is identified as the shooter. It's confirmed Jean didn't know Guyger.
SEPT. 9 (EVENING): GUYGER ARRESTED
Shortly after Lee Merritt, the attorney for Jean's family, holds a press conference in which he says "justice demands she be arrested," news of Guyger's arrest surfaces. Guyger is arrested by the Texas Rangers in Kaufman County and charged with manslaughter nearly 72 hours after the shooting. Not long after she's booked, Guyger is released on a $300,000 bond. Manslaughter is a second-degree felony in Texas punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. The case moves on to the Dallas County District Attorney's Office.
SEPT 10. (MORNING): DALLAS DA ALSO INVESTIGATING
While Guyger is charged with manslaughter, Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson says a grand jury makes the ultimate decision, meaning the charge can be changed to murder. She also says the DA's office is investigating the case as well.
SEPT. 10 (AFTERNOON): WARRANTS PRESENT DIFFERENT DETAILS
Two warrant affidavits are released: The arrest warrant affidavit for Guyger, which was written by Texas Rangers investigators, and the search warrant affidavit for Jean's apartment (the scene of the incident), which was written by a Dallas police detective shortly after the shooting.
The two accounts of the shooting offer slightly different details. The arrest warrant affidavit says Guyger found Jean's front door "slightly ajar," and then opened it by pushing a key into the door. When she opened the door fully, Guyger saw a "large silhouette" across the room and began giving commands, which Jean "ignored," the affidavit says.
The search warrant affidavit also says that Jean's door was open when Guyger inserted a key but that Jean "confronted the officer at the door." A neighbor told police that he "heard an exchange of words, immediately followed by at least two gunshots," the search warrant affidavit says.
Neither affidavit details how close, specifically, Guyger and Jean were to each other during the encounter.
While Guyger claims in the search warrant she believes Jean left the door ajar because he may have been waiting for someone, residents question if that's possible. Multiple videos are shared online showing how the key and door system work at the complex.
In one video, a person shows that when you use the wrong key on a door a red light flashes. And when at the right door, a green light flashes.
That cop knew what she was doing. Regrann from @thesavoyshow - #BothamShemJean Murderer Said she thought his apartment was hers but it turns out she is lying. She knew the apartment wasn’t hers. The Neighbors over there are calling out the bullshit. #regrann #relearn #learning #honortheancestors #notblack #indegenous #BlackLivesMatter #BlackConsciousness #BlackMan #BlackMen #AfricanMan #AfricanMen #BlackWoman #BlackWomen #AfricanWoman #AfricanWomen #Africa #BlackPower #BlackWallStreet #Woke #Kemet #Slavery #PanAfrican #PanAfricanism #Afro #racism
A post shared by Yah'Tai (julia) Harris (@honoring_the_ancestors_ucc1308) on
In another video, the poster uses a key to open the door and shows the door swing itself close, unable to stay ajar unless someone uses the deadbolt.
SEPT. 10 (EVENING): ATTORNEYS SAY GUYGER WAS HEARD SAYING "LET ME IN"
After the arrest and search warrant affidavits were released, Lee Merritt, the attorney representing the family of Botham Jean, releases new details himself. Merritt says at least two witnesses claimed to have heard knocking on Jean's door, followed by the voice of a woman believed to be Guyger, saying, "Let me in, let me in."
Merritt says one of the witnesses said after she heard the gunshots go off, she heard a male voice say, "Oh my God, why did you do that?"
SEPT. 13 (AFTERNOON): FUNERAL HELD FOR BOTHAM JEAN
More than 1,500 people gather at Greenville Avenue Church of Christ to remember the life of Botham Jean.
"A nuke had been unleashed on our family by someone charged to protect and serve,” Ignatius Jean tells the church as he spoke about his nephew.
His friend and business mentor, Tommy Bush, told the church how Botham aimed high in pursuit of excellence in everything he tackled. "Don’t tell me not to grieve,” Bush cried. “Don’t tell me not to grieve. I’m not there yet.”
SEPT. 13 (AFTERNOON): SEARCH WARRANT RETURNED FROM JEAN'S APARTMENT
A returned search warrant from Jean's apartment is released by officials. Police seized two bullet casings, a police backpack and vest and 10.4 grams of marijuana, the warrant says. Authorities say the marijuana was one Jean's kitchen counter. If the marijuana belonged to Jean, it wouldn't be enough to arrest him under Dallas’ cite-and-release policy.
A lunch box, a laptop computer, a metal marijuana grinder, two keys, and two used packages of medical aid were also seized from the unit.
Authorities didn't release more information about the seized items. The release of the search warrant draws widespread backlash, with the attorneys for Botham Jean's family questioning why seized items from Jean's apartment, specially the marijuana, were relevant.
Lee Merritt and Benjamin Crump, the attorneys for Jean's family, learn about the search warrant details shortly after Jean's funeral.
Merritt says the warrant "highlights just sort of the nefarious nature of their investigation."
"They went in with the intent to look for some sort of criminal justification for the victim," Merritt said. "It's a pattern that we've seen before...we have a cop who clearly did something wrong. And instead of investigating the homicide – instead of going into her apartment and seeing what they can find, instead of collecting evidence relevant for the homicide investigation – they went out specifically looking for ways to tarnish the image of this young man."
Meanwhile, Jean's family also demands Guyger to be fired.
“We are calling, we are demanding that Officer Amber Guyger be fired and terminated immediately. She should not still be on the payroll for the city of Dallas,” Merritt said.
SEPT. 14: MORE BACKLASH TO SEARCH WARRANT DETAILS
Botham Jean's family and attorneys hold a news conference, again speaking out against the release of the search warrant details.
"The information released yesterday, was worse than the call I received last Friday," said Jean's mother, Allister Jean. "To have my son smeared so bad, shows the bad in Dallas police."
Legal experts say there are valid reasons investigators would have searched Jean's apartment.
“When you’re conducting an investigation, the whole point is you’re trying to figure out what happened. You don’t know what’s important,” said Chris Mulder, a Dallas attorney. “You get the warrant out of an abundance of caution and you list in the warrant anything that could possibly be relevant … so that nobody can complain about it later. It’s just good police work.”
During the conference, Jean's mother also asks authorities to share Guyger's toxicology report. This is a demand echoed by citizens.
SEPT. 21: INVESTIGATORS SEEK DOORBELL CAMERA VIDEO
Investigators ask for search warrants for doorbell camera footage from townhouses near the complex where Jean was shot and killed. The Dallas District Attorney’s Office requestes records from Ring, a home security company. They specifically seek footage captured from 8 a.m. to midnight on Sept. 6 from townhomes on Arch Place.
SEPT. 24: GUYGER FIRED
OCT. 26: JEAN'S FAMILY FILES FEDERAL LAWSUIT
Botham Jean's family files a a federal lawsuit against Guyger and the city of Dallas. The 28-page suit accuses Guyger of excessive force, "resulting in the wrongful death" of Jean. It also says Police Chief Renee Hall "failed to implement and enforce such policies...that respected Jean's constitutional rights."
NOV. 26: GRAND JURY CONVENES
A 12-person grand jury convenes to hear evidence against Guyger. Their tasked with deciding whether Guyger will be cleared in the case, or go to trial for manslaughter or murder.
NOV. 30: GUYGER INDICTED ON A MURDER CHARGE, ACCORDING TO SOURCES
Five days after they convened, a grand jury in Dallas indicts Guyger on a murder charge, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the case. The Dallas DA says Guyger turned herself in and posted bond following the indictment.