Tragedy has struck once again for the family of Atatiana Jefferson.
Jefferson’s mother, Yolanda Carr, died Thursday in the same home where her daughter was shot dead by a Fort Worth, Texas, officer last October, a lawyer for the family confirmed.
Attorney Lee Merritt shared news of the sudden loss via Twitter. A cause of death has not been released, but Merritt said Carr, 55, had health issues and was undergoing treatment for congestive heart failure.
“We just learned Yolanda Carr, the mother of #AtatianaJefferson, passed away in her home early Thursday morning,” he wrote, noting that Atatiana was serving as her mom’s caregiver when she was shot and killed.
“She lost her support system when Atatiana was killed,” Merritt added.
Jefferson, a 28-year-old pre-med graduate student, had moved back into her mother’s home so that she could care for her. On Oct. 12, officers responded to an early-morning house check after a concerned neighbor dialed the non-emergency line after noticing the doors were open and the lights were on.
Jefferson was inside playing video games with her 8-year-old nephew when Officer Aaron Dean shot her through a window of the home.
Body camera video of the incident shows Dean never announced himself as police, giving the woman a split second to react when he shouted for her to “show your hands!” before opening fire.
According to an affidavit, Jefferson’s nephew told investigators his aunt grabbed a gun from her purse and went to the window when she heard someone prowling outside. That’s when she was shot.
Dean, who was uncooperative and refused to speak with investigators after the shooting, resigned days later and has since been indicted in Jefferson’s murder.
Carr had been hospitalized at the time and was unable to attend Atatiana’s funeral. She later rejoiced at news that her daughter’s killer was charged.
“I’m so glad they finally indicted that man on murder because he murdered my baby,” she said in a video from her hospital bed. “He murdered my baby in my home. She didn’t do anything wrong.”
“I know we have a long way to go,” Carr added, “[but] at least we got the charge on him, that he murdered my baby.”
Jefferson’s family suffered another loss when Atatiana’s father, 58-year-old Marquis Jefferson, suffered a heart attack and died in early November.
“They’ve been reeling from one tragedy to the next,” Merritt said. “Unfortunately, as a civil-rights attorney dealing with wrongful death, I see this often where families have medical issues usually related to the trauma experienced due to police brutality.”
Condolences have poured in for the family, with mourners saying Jefferson’s parents were “simply heartbroken” over her loss.
“Both of Atatianas parents certainly had broken hearts and died,” one Twitter user said.
Another agreed, writing: “That poor woman. Both she and #AtatianaJefferson’s father lived out the remainder of their lives in grief. One might even say they died from overwhelming grief. All three need justice. That crooked cop needs to be convicted!”
“I’ve never seen a tragedy like this one where the toll was like this,” someone else wrote. “My heart goes out to this family.”
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