A mourner pays respects before the start of the funeral service for Atatiana Jefferson on Oct. 24, 2019, at Concord Church in Dallas, Texas.
Stewart F. House—Getty Images
By Sanya Mansoor
November 10, 2019

The father of Atatiana Jefferson died not even a month after his black daughter was shot and killed by a white police officer in her Texas home.

Marquis Jefferson, 58, suffered a fatal heart attack his spokesperson told NBC 5 DFW.

“It’s just sad because of grief. I don’t know what else to say,” Bruce Carter told the local outlet. “Less than a month ago, he was working at El Centro, mentoring kids twice a week. He just couldn’t get back from what happened with his daughter.”

The Associated Press reports that Jefferson died Saturday night.

Marquis Jefferson’s 28-year-old daughter’s death quickly sparked national outrage and strengthened community distrust towards the role of law enforcement in the city. Jefferson had previously described his daughter’s death as “senseless.”

She had been playing video games with her 8-year-old nephew in her home in the early morning hours of Oct. 12 before being fatally shot by Fort Worth police officer Aaron Dean through her bedroom window. Her nephew witnessed the shooting.

Dean was charged with murder in Atatiana Jefferson’s death.

Civil rights lawyer S. Lee Merritt, who is representing Jefferson’s family, said on social media that he was “saddened” to learn of Marquis Jefferson’s death and that “he knew and loved Atatiana Jefferson since she was born.”

“Her death rocked the nation but no one felt it more than the people that were directly tied to her in life,” Merritt said. “Those people haven’t had a chance to grieve like normal families.”

 

Democratic candidate for President Julián Castro tweeted that Marquis Jefferson’s death “is a reminder that the victims of police violence also include the families of those killed.”

 

Contact us at editors@time.com.

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