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Botham Shem Jean posed no threat to the off-duty police officer who shot and killed him as he was watching television in his Dallas apartment last year, and in the final startled moments of his life, he had no chance to tell the officer she had entered the wrong apartment, a prosecutor told jurors on Monday, the opening day of the officer’s murder trial, reports the New York Times.

The former officer, Amber R. Guyger, 31, was returning home from her patrol shift in September 2018 when she entered what she said she believed was her own apartment. While standing at an apartment exactly one floor above her own, she fired her weapon twice at Jean, her 26-year-old neighbor, striking him once in the torso and killing him. The shooting, yet another case of a White police officer killing an unarmed Black man, has angered, puzzled and captivated the city for months.

Lawyers laid out the framework of the case in opening statements on Monday, but they shed little light on the unanswered questions that continue to swirl around the case. Guyger told the police she was under the mistaken impression that she was standing in her own doorway and thought Jean was an intruder who was actively threatening her when she opened fire. But in his opening statement in a downtown Dallas courtroom on Monday, Jason Hermus, a prosecutor with the Dallas County district attorney’s office, told the jury that Guyger had made a series of fatal errors, violated police protocols and shot Jean when he had made no move to advance toward her.

“He was sitting in his living room, in shorts and a T-shirt, watching TV and eating a bowl of vanilla ice cream, what any one of us would have been doing,” Hermus told the jury, referring to Jean by his nickname of Bo. “When all of sudden, Amber Guyger comes through his front door uninvited. The light from the hallway must have flooded his apartment, the noise from the door must have scared him to death,” he said. “As Bo was trying to get up off the couch to find out what this intruder is doing coming into his home, she is leveling off her gun having acquired her target. And she shoots at him twice. No opportunity for de-escalation. No opportunity for him to surrender.”

Hermus said the path of the bullet — down through his heart to a point between his stomach and his back — showed that Jean was either getting up from a seated position or was “in a cowering position” hiding behind a three-foot wall. It is likely he took a few steps after being shot, the prosecutor said. Under police protocol, he said, officers confronted with such a perceived threat are supposed to stay outside the residence and wait for backup.

Guyger’s decision to fire her weapon from the door, he said, was one of several “unreasonable choices” she had made that night, preceded by her failure to notice she had parked on the wrong floor. Jean lived in Unit 1478 on the fourth floor of the South Side Flats complex. Guyger lived directly below him in Unit 1378 on the third floor. During her 911 call to report the shooting, Guyger told the dispatcher, “I shot a guy thinking it was my apartment,” the prosecutor said, calling it noteworthy that she had failed to mention that there was any threat, or that she feared for her life.

Jean’s door was closed that night but not locked. Rogers said it was defective and slightly ajar, and at times would shut but not latch, which was what had allowed Guyger to enter an apartment that was not hers. The start of the trial took place amid heavy security and large crowds at the Frank Crowley Courts Building in downtown Dallas. The seventh-floor courtroom reached capacity on Monday morning, leaving a crowd of spectators, reporters and civil rights activists in the hallway. Seven of the 12 jurors and four alternates are African-American, four are White and five are of other races and ethnicities.

The jury, if it decides to convict, could find the officer guilty of murder or of a lesser charge such as manslaughter. The question for the jury is not whether Guyger shot Jean — that is not in dispute — but whether the jury believes it was a case of mistaken identity, as Guyger claims, and that she thought she was acting in self-defense. This is an ongoing story.