Joshua Brown, a witness during the Amber Guyger murder trial, was killed in a drug deal
Brown was shot Friday night at his apartment complex on Cedar Springs Road. Officials say it was during a drug deal.
Author: Tanya Eiserer, Rebecca Lopez
Published: 12:10 PM CDT October 8, 2019
Updated: 1:25 PM CDT October 8, 2019
Updated at 1:23 p.m. with additional details from police.
Police are searching for two suspects in connection with the death of Joshua Brown, who testified at the trial of former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger, officials say.
A third suspect is hospitalized and already in police custody.
Brown was shot during a drug deal Friday night at his apartment complex on Cedar Springs Road.
Michael Mitchell, 32, Thaddeous Charles Green, 22, and 20-year-old Jacquerious Mitchell traveled from Louisiana planning to buy marijuana from Brown.
The men got into a fight, and Brown shot Jacquerious Mitchell in the chest, police said. Green then shot Brown.
Jacquerious Mitchell told police he heard two gunshots.
Jacquerious Mitchell remains hospitalized. The other two men have not been arrested yet, police said.
Each of the three men faces a capital murder charge, police said.
Investigators found 12 pounds of marijuana and about $4,000 in cash in Brown's apartment during a search, officials said.
And authorities have gone to two houses in Louisiana looking for the suspects, an official said.
Since news of Brown’s death broke publicly, rumors have been swirling about why he was gunned down. Many have said the Dallas Police Department was responsible for the man's slaying.
“I assure you that is simply not true,” Assistant Police Chief Avery Moore said of the rumors during a news conference Tuesday.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins tweeted that Brown was not shot in the “mouth or head,” contrary to what some activists were posting on social media.
Jenkins vowed the city and the county would "work to ensure a transparent and thorough investigation of the murder of Joshua Brown."
Brown was shot twice in the lower body, Moore said.
The man had been shot before in November 2018 during an altercation outside a Dallas nightclub. He was one of the targets of the attack, but another man was killed in that incident.
RELATED: Slain witness in Amber Guyger murder trial was prior victim of gun violence, sources say
Lee Merritt, an attorney representing the Jean family, tweeted Saturday that he had spoken with Brown’s mother and she was “devastated” by his death.
Merritt initially tweeted that Brown had been shot in the “mouth and chest.” He tweeted two hours later that where Brown was shot was in dispute and that he had heard from a witness that the wounds were to Brown’s “buttocks and side.”
Merritt also said Brown’s mother told him that Brown had “no known enemies.” He said Brown was ambushed as he was exiting his car at his apartment.
The shooting occurred around 10:35 p.m. at the Atera Apartments near the 4606 block of Cedar Springs Road, police said.
Police say when they arrived at the complex, they found a man in the parking lot with gunshot wounds. Brown was transported to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.
After Friday night’s shooting witnesses told police they heard several gunshots and saw a silver four-door sedan leaving the parking lot after the shooting. They were not able to provide a physical description of any possible suspects.
Brown was a victim of gun violence last year.
Last November, Brown was shot and another man was killed outside the Dallas Cabaret strip club on Walnut Ridge Street in Northwest Dallas.
Kendall Deshonn Morris has been indicted on charges of murder and aggravated assault in connection with the incident. He is currently out on bond.
An arrest affidavit states that Morris and another man were at the club celebrating a birthday and encountered Brown at the strip club.
The other man wanted to fight Brown and the two men fought in the street. When Brown and his friends attempted to leave, Morris pulled a gun out of a car and handed it to another man, records show.
Nicholas Shaq'uan Diggs was killed and Brown was hit in the foot.
There is no indication that Brown’s death was connected to the prior shooting.
Brown was a witness in the murder trial of Amber Guyger, appearing on the stand on Sept. 24. He lived across the hall from Botham Jean.
The men met earlier in the day on Sept. 6, 2018, after an apartment manager knocked on Brown's door and told him about a noise complaint.
Later that night, Brown was returning home when he heard loud voices as he walked down the hall.
He said it sounded like "two people meeting each other by surprise" but couldn't make out what the voices were saying, but heard gunshots.
RELATED: Groups call for independent investigation into Joshua Brown murder case
Nervous to testify
Brown choked up on the witness stand and took a break after testifying about hearing Jean singing every morning across the hall.
On Sunday, Merritt acknowledged that the 2018 shooting made Brown nervous to testify.
“He was concerned that someone would try and come finish the job,” Merritt said.
Despite his reluctance to testify, Merritt said it was his plan to ask Brown to take the witness stand again.
“When we move forward with our civil trial, he was one of the first people we planned on calling,” Merritt said. “And now is no longer available.”
Speaking about the investigation into Brown's murder, Merritt said that "there is no link to law enforcement or to the trial directly, but it’s something worth looking into."
Merritt tweeted Tuesday morning that Brown left for California before the trial began to avoid testifying. He was threatened with jail time if he didn't return, Merritt said.
S. Lee Merritt, Esq.
The State knew Joshua Brown didn’t want to testify due to concerns for his safety. He flew to California when the trial began. They threatened him with jail if he didn’t return. He went straight from the airport to the court. Dallas County has a duty to protect him. They failed.
7:13 AM - Oct 8, 2019
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Dallas police ask anyone with information to contact Detective Jacob White at 214-671-3690 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
. Please refer to case No. 202433-2019.
Crime Stoppers is offering to pay up to $5,000 for information leading to an arrest. Crime Stoppers can be reached at 214-373-8477.
Nationally known civil rights activist Shaun King tweeted that a $100,000 reward is now being offered in Brown’s death.