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'He Was an Outstanding Christian': Dallas Church Mourns Youth Pastor Mistakenly Killed by Police Officer

09-10-2018

In an emotional service Sunday, members of Dallas West Church of Christ mourned the death of their 26-year-old youth pastor who was shot and killed by a police officer in his own home.

Botham Jean was shot Thursday by an off-duty Dallas police officer who says she mistook his apartment for her own.

Investigators say Officer Amber Guyger was returning home from her shift when she entered Jean's apartment and opened fire at what she thought was an intruder.

Lawyers for Jean's family called for Guyger's arrest since the shooting, saying the fact she had remained free days later showed she was getting favorable treatment. She was arrested Sunday and later released on bond.

While police seek answers in the case, many are celebrating the life of the man known for his kind and joyous spirit.

According to The Dallas Morning News, Jean moved to Dallas after graduating from Harding University in Arkansas.  

Also known for his beautiful voice, Jean often led singing at the university chapel. He went on to serve as a youth pastor and worship leader at his church.

During a packed service on Sunday, family and friends paid tribute to Jean by singing one of his favorite hymns, "My God is Real."

"I couldn't come up with any negatives," said one man during a vigil held Saturday at the church. "Not one negative."  

Church member Jessica Berry told CNN, "I'm feeling numb. I have anger right now. I'm frustrated, just knowing who he is. The way he died is not fair."

Berry's father, Minister Sammie Berry said, "Bo's" death is a painful loss to his church family."

"Bo was an outstanding young man. He was an outstanding Christian. He was having an impact.  We're definitely going to miss him."

Berry added, "I don't think you could find a better person when you look at the life he lived, the contributions he made, the passion that he had for the church and anything that he did. He always wanted to do his very best." 

Jean's girlfriend Cynthia Johnson, is leaning on her faith after the tragic loss.

"Pray for me that I find peace, acceptance, and healing in Christ our Lord," she said at Sunday's service.

Many are praying for justice for Jean's death.

"The events of the past week, they've changed me, they've transformed me," said Berry. "But we ought to be like Bo this morning...He understood his purpose."

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