FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Monday marks one year since Atatiana Jefferson was shot and killed by former Fort Worth police officer Aaron Dean inside her own home.
Dean went to Jefferson’s home for a wellness check after her neighbor called a non-emergency number stating her front door was open. Dean is now awaiting trial, but a date has not been set.
Today, Jefferson’s family says they’re focusing on the good, honoring her in the way they say she would want to be remembered.
She held a pre-med degree, with aspirations of becoming a doctor. In the words of her father, the possibilities were endless.
At 28 years old, Jefferson’s life was taken.
Then just 28 days later her father, Marquis Jefferson, died of what his widow describes as a broken heart.
“I am feeling all of the emotions that one would feel who has lost a dear loved one — and it’s a double shot for me,” Marquis Jefferson’s widow Noella Jefferson said. “This brings back many memories of that sad time. However, I am also empowered to do something positive.”
For the next 28 days, Noella will be carrying out her loved ones’ life’s passion.
“Today, we are feeding the homeless and we’re also passing out cots,” she said. “Truly they were about elevating life through love.”
It’s the work of two organizations created in their honor — the Atatiana “Tay” Jefferson Foundation and “Coming off the Sidewalk or “COTS”. Jefferson is asking everyone to join her in service and use the hashtag “#COTSANOTHER28DAYS” on social media so she can see.
“Not in sadness, but in hope,” she said.
Meanwhile, Noella said she’s patiently waiting for justice to be served for her stepdaughter.
“We did not expect it to take this long, but we hope that the wait is because they are pondering truly on how to proceed forward do the right thing,” she said. “I think that the fact that a year later we are still suffering from the same things that happened over the year ago lets us know truly a change must come about.”
On Monday, on the one year anniversary of Atatiana’s death, her stepmother will be giving back. She again plans to feed the homeless and pass out cots in their honor.