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Father of Atatiana Jefferson dies of heart attack

“He just couldn’t get back from what happened with his daughter.”

Family Photo (Courtesy of Lee Merritt)

The Associated Press has reported that the father of Atatiana Jefferson has died of a heart attack.

According to the Dallas Morning News, spokesperson Bruce Carter revealed that Marquis Jefferson passed away on Saturday (Nov. 9) at a hospital in the Dallas area. “Less than a month ago, he was working at El Centro, mentoring kids twice a week,” Carter said. “He just couldn’t get back from what happened with his daughter.”

Atatiana Jefferson was shot and killed by Fort Worth police officer Aaron Dean in her home last month. The police were called to do a welfare check at her home per the request of a neighbor, who noticed the house’s doors were open. Atatiana died at around 2:30 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 12, according to the Tarrant County medical examiner’s office.

The police department released a statement regarding the incident, which said, “Perceiving a threat, the officer drew his duty weapon and fired one shot striking the person inside the residence. Officers entered the residence locating the individual and a firearm and began providing emergency medical care.”

At the time, Jefferson told a Local CBS affiliate, “Her mother called me yesterday morning. She say, ‘Tay was shot. I mean it’s senseless. My daughter was 28. My daughter was 28 years old. Had her whole life in front of her.... You have to know that was somebody’s daughter. Somebody loved her and there was a better way. It didn’t have to be like that.”

It was later reported that Jefferson postponed his daughter’s funeral service because he asked a judge to grant him “full authority to make arrangements for the funeral and burial.” According to Dallas Morning News, Dallas County probate court Judge Brenda Hull Thompson signed the restraining order to put a stop to Atatiana’s funeral and burial. Complex reports that he was also seeking a temporary restraining order for Atatiana’s aunt.

The judge ruled in Jefferson’s favor and his daughter was laid to rest on Oct. 24 under his direction.

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