News Americas, DALLAS, Texas, Tues. Sept. 11, 2018: Prime Minister of the Caribbean nation of St. Lucia, Allen Chastanet, stood alongside the family of St. Lucian immigrant, Botham Shem Jean Monday, and expressed the hope that the Dallas, Texas justice system will take the right course.
Chastanet joined Jean’s mother, Allison Jean, his father Bertram Jean and their other son Brandt, as well as their attorney Lee Merritt at a press conference Monday after meeting with the city’s district attorney.
Chastanet relayed that in St. Lucia, there are two very strong emotions right now – one clearly of great sadness and the other of anger “to think that a young man could be in his apartment, and the possibility could be that somebody could come to his door, and he ends up being dead.”
“I would have liked to have come to Dallas under different circumstances, but I am here today to give my solidarity to Allison,” Chastanet said. “I’m here to show solidarity. And I was very encouraged by the words of the DA at the press conference this morning.”
Chastanet added that the St. Lucia ambassador to the US will be working behind the scenes to give the Jean family as much support as they can.
Allison Jean is a former permanent secretary in Department of Education, Innovation and Gender Relations for St. Lucia, was visiting New York when she learned of her son’s death. She said she was still seeking answers as to why and how her 26-year-old son was killed.
“The No. 1 answer that I want is what happened,” Allison Jean said after the Dallas district attorney’s news conference. “I’ve been told that there are no answers yet.”
His surviving brother Brandt said he still can’t believe he’s gone. “He was really inspiring. He had a positive mind and vibe,” he said of his late brother.
Botham Jean graduated in 2016 with a degree in accounting and management information systems from Harding University, where the father said he convinced the Arkansas school to send students to St. Lucia over the summer to do charity work.
Botham Jean was a also a member of “Good News Singers, a resident assistant, an intern for the Rock House campus ministry and a leader in Sub T-16 men’s social club.”
Jean was hired at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Dallas after an internship with the company, according to his father. His LinkedIn profile said he was a risk assurance associate at the professional services and auditing firm. He would have celebrated his 27th birthday on September 29th.
“This is a terrible tragedy,” PricewaterhouseCoopers said via Twitter. “Botham Jean was a member of the PwC family in our Dallas office and we are simply heartbroken to hear of his death.”
THE OFFICER IN THE SHOOTING
The fatal shooting happened Thursday night at the South Side Flats, apartments where both Jean and Police Officer Amber Guyger, a four-year department veteran assigned to the Southeast Patrol Division, lived.
Details of the incident outlined in the arrest warrant say Guyger arrived home from her shift with the Dallas Police Department and parked her car on the fourth-floor parking garage. The parking garage level corresponds to the level the resident lives on; Guyger lives on the third floor, according to the affidavit.
Guyger then walked into the building and to what she believed was her apartment door where she inserted her key. The door, the affidavit said, was partially ajar and fully opened under the force of the key insertion.
The door being opened alerted the resident, 26-year-old Botham Jean, who Guyger then saw as a silhouette moving through the darkened apartment.
According to the affidavit, Guyger, believing her apartment was being robbed, drew her firearm and “gave verbal commands that were ignored” by Jean.
She then fired her gun twice, striking Jean once in the chest and once in the abdomen.
Guyger then entered the apartment and called 911 while providing first aid to Jean. According to the affidavit, while on the phone with 911, Guyger turned on the lights inside the apartment and only then realized she was not in her own home.
When dispatchers asked her for her location, Guyger went into the hallway to check the address and confirmed she was at apartment 1478; Guyger’s residence is one floor below, directly beneath Jean’s residence.
Dallas Fire-Rescue EMS transported Jean to Baylor Medical Center in Dallas where he later died.
A Dallas Police Department search warrant carried out Friday offers a narrative with some different details.
That stated that Officer Guyger encountered Jean “at the door” and a neighbor allegedly heard an exchange of words prior to hearing gunfire.
The Jean family attorney said the account in the arrest warrant affidavit is “completely inconsistent with the evidence” presented to the Dallas County District Attorney’s office Sunday. That evidence is a witness who did not see the shooting and a video that Merritt has not yet shared with the media.
Guyger was only arrested on Sunday on a manslaughter charge. She was released from the Kaufman County Jail on Sunday evening after posting a $300,000 bond.
Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson said Monday that the manslaughter charge against Guyger could be upgraded when her office presents the case to a grand jury.
A funeral service for Jean will be held Thursday at noon at the Greenville Avenue Church of Christ in Richardson. A viewing will be held prior to the service from 10 a.m. to noon.