Botham Jean was a 26-year-old accountant for Price Waterhouse Cooper living in Dallas, Texas. On the night of September 6, 2018, he was shot and killed by an off-duty policewoman who mistook his apartment for hers.
The policewoman’s apartment was on the third floor, directly below Botham’s apartment on the fourth, in an apartment building with mostly identical floor plans on each level. The officer testified that she thought the apartment was her own. She said she found the door slightly ajar and thought Botham was an intruder in the darkened living room of her apartment. In actuality, Botham was killed in his own apartment, while eating ice cream.
Botham Jean, also known as “Bo,” to friends and colleagues, was a native of Saint Lucia, an eastern Caribbean island, and a graduate of Harding University, a private Christian school in Searcy, Arkansas. Bo was a deeply faithful person, who was active in his church and was passionate about singing and service. While attending Harding University, he would return to Saint Lucia with classmates each year to show them around his birthplace and give back to the community, including volunteer projects with orphanages for at-risk youth.
This was the man who the policewoman said she feared would kill her, and, despite being the trespasser, she did not hesitate in shooting Bo in his chest, killing him. The only thing Bo was armed with was a bowl of ice cream. The officer was eventually found guilty of murder and sentenced to 10 years in jail. In August 2020 the policewoman filed an appeal requesting she be acquitted of her murder charges.