A Dallas TV station obtained the audio recording of the 911 call made by now-former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger after she shot and killed PwC accountant Botham Jean in his apartment, in which she repeatedly tells the dispatcher that she thought she was entering her apartment.
Guyger, 30, is scheduled to go on trial for Jean’s murder beginning in September.
Guyger, who had just finished a shift but was still in full uniform, reportedly shot Jean once in the chest on the night of Sept. 6, 2018. According to published reports, Jean was sitting on his couch watching football before he was shot.
The police officer lived in an apartment one floor directly below Jean’s apartment. She told authorities that she parked on the wrong level of the South Side Flats apartment complex’s garage—the fourth floor instead of the third, where her apartment was located.
The door to his apartment was unlocked at the time, and it opened as Guyger tried to put her key in it. She told authorities that she thought she was entering her home and that the person in the darkened apartment was a burglar.
The 26-year-old Jean was a risk assurance associate in PwC’s Dallas office.
After she shot Jean, Guyger called 911 just before 10 p.m. In the audio recording, you can hear her tell Jean, “Get up, man” before the dispatcher answers the call. In a panicked voice, Guyger told the dispatcher that she was an off-duty officer and she needed EMS and the police sent to apartment No. 1478 at 1210 South Lamar. Guyger then said she thought she was in her apartment and she “shot a guy, thinking it was my apartment.”
Here’s an excerpt from that conversation:
Amber Guyger: Hi, this is an off-duty officer. Umm, can I get, I need EMS, umm, I’m in number, umm.
Dispatcher: Do you need police as well or just EMS?
Guyger: Yes, I need both.
Dispatcher: OK, what’s the address?
Guyger: Fuck. I’m at apartment number 1478. I’m in 1478.
Dispatcher: And what’s the address there?
Guyger: Umm it’s 1210 South Lamar, 1478, yeah, I…
Dispatcher: What’s going on?
Guyger: I’m an off-duty officer. I thought I was in my apartment and I shot a guy thinking that he was, thinking it was my apartment.
Dispatcher: You shot someone?
Guyger: Yes, I thought it was my apartment. I’m fucked. Oh my god. [To Jean] I’m sorry.
Dispatcher: Where are you at right now?
Guyger: I’m in. What do you mean? I’m inside the apartment with him. [To Jean] Hey, come on, man.
Dispatcher: What’s your name?
Guyger: I’m Amber Guyger. I need, get me. I’m in.
Dispatcher: OK, we have help on the way.
Guyger: I know but I’m, I’m going to lose my job. I thought it was my apartment.
Guyger: [To Jean] Hey man.
Dispatcher: Hold on.
Dispatcher: OK, stay with me. OK?
Guyger: I am. I am. I’m going to need a supervisor.
Guyger: [To Jean] Hey bud. Hey bud. Hey bud. Come on. [To dispatcher] Oh fuck. I thought it was my apartment.
Dispatcher: I understand. We have help on the way.
Guyger: I thought it was my apartment. Hurry. Please.
Here’s the full audio of the nearly six-minute conversation. NSFW.
The Dallas Morning News talked to Jean’s mother, Allison, after she listened to the 911 call, which she had not heard until this week, and she still thinks Guyger is a “cold-blooded killer” who was more concerned about losing her job than trying to help her son.
“She does not sound like she was trying to help him at all,” Allison Jean said.
However, Dallas attorney George Milner III, who has defended police officers accused of breaking the law, told the Dallas Morning News that the 911 call is “helpful for her” because it supports her statement to authorities that she thought she was in her own apartment. He said a defense to the murder charge can be that Guyger made a “mistake of fact”when she killed Jean.
But he added: “None of that changes the fact that Botham Jean is dead, and he shouldn’t be.”
Guyger was arrested and charged with manslaughter on Sept. 9, three days after she shot and killed Jean. Guyger was released from jail on $300,000 bond.
The Dallas Police Department fired Guyger on Sept. 24 for engaging in adverse conduct. She had worked at the department for nearly five years.
After two days of hearing evidence in late November, a Dallas County grand jury on Nov. 30 upgraded Guyger’s charge from manslaughter to murder. She turned herself in to authorities that afternoon and was released on $200,000 bond.