The mother of a man killed by a Dallas police officer Thursday night who shot him after entering an apartment she believed was her own says her son loved everybody and that she wishes she could wake up from this nightmare.
Allison Jean, who lives in St. Lucia but was visiting New York this week, said she was told over the telephone that her son Botham Shem Jean had been killed, apparently in his own apartment, in Dallas.
"I couldn’t believe it when we got that call. It just feels like a nightmare. I wish I could wake up. He impacted the lives of many. I’m getting calls from all over the world. My country St Lucia is impacted," said Jean.
Dallas Chief of Police U. Renee Hall said officers were called to an officer-involved shooting at the South Side Flats just before 10 p.m. Thursday and that as the investigation unfolded it became clear that what actually took place was something far more unique.
Earlier in the morning, Sgt. Warren Mitchell said officer Amber Guyger was heading home after working a full shift when she mistakenly entered a neighbor's apartment home. After entering the unit, she was confronted by a man and at some point during the interaction she fired her weapon, hitting him.
"Somebody has to be crazy not to realize that they walked into the wrong apartment. He's a bachelor. Things are different inside," Jean told NBC News Friday morning via telephone.
Without providing much additional detail, Hall said during a news conference Friday that Guyger would soon be the subject of a manslaughter warrant and that blood would be drawn to determine if drugs or alcohol were present in her body.
Saturday, Hall said the Texas Rangers advised Dallas police to "hold off" on issuing the warrant.
"I don’t want to judge her. We are Christians. We forgive. But I need to look into her eyes and ask her why did she do that to my son. She took away my heart. My soul. He didn’t deserve to die. The explanation does not make sense," said Jean.
Dallas police released Guyger's identity late Saturday of the officer, and Jean's mother wonders if race may have played a role in her son's death.
"I didn’t know she was white until now. If it was a white man would it have been different? Would she had reacted differently?" Jean said.
Jean is expected to travel to Dallas Friday where a vigil is being organized for Friday night by the Mothers Against Police Brutality. The vigil will be held at 7 p.m. at Dallas Police Headquarters -- 1400 S. Lamar Street.
"Botham would want me to get justice for him. Whoever did it to him needs to pay. A heavy price," Jean said. "The state needs to pay for my son. They need to pay for the loss of my son. Botham was no where in any wrong place at any wrong time. He was in his sanctuary. In the place he called home. He didn’t deserve it.”
Jean worked in Dallas for PricewaterhouseCooper, a multinational professional services firm. The company said they were heartbroken to learn of Jean's death.
Before moving to Dallas, Jean attended Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas where he frequently led church services and campus events, school officials said.
"The entire Harding family grieves today for the loss of Botham Jean, who has meant so very much to us," a university statement read. "Please join us in praying for Botham’s friends and family."
Music and worship were a big part of Jean's life, he was very involved in Dallas West Church of Christ. He first visited the church in 2014 with his university's singing group.
The minister's daughter gets emotional thinking about Jean, a young man described as concerned about justice and aware of current events and social issues.
"I would have heard this story, if this wasn't Bo, and I would have immediately texted him and we would have ba dialog about that," said Jessica Berry. "He was a very smart young man and just had a nice, sweet, humble heart, that's the best way I can explain it."
The minister of Dallas West Church of Christ wants more answers from police before deciding how to respond to Jean's death.
"I think he would demand first answers and then justice," said Sammie Berry.