Joshua Brown, the next door neighbor of Botham Jean, was shot and killed late Friday night in Dallas, Texas, an attorney for Jean’s family said. Brown recently testified for the prosecution in the murder trial of former Dallas cop Amber Guyger.
According to the Dallas Morning News, officers arrived on the scene at around 10:30 p.m. to the Atera apartments located at the 4600 block of Cedar Springs Road in Dallas’ Turtle Creek neighborhood.
Per that report:
Police found a man on the ground with multiple gunshot wounds. He was taken to Parkland Memorial Hospital, where he died from his injuries.
Witnesses told police they heard several gunshots and saw a silver four-door sedan speeding out of the parking lot.
The Dallas Police Department (DPD) has yet to release information about the victim or the suspect. But attorneys with knowledge of the case and Brown’s family confirmed Brown’s identity via social media on Saturday afternoon.
Dominique Alexander, a Dallas area civil rights activist who is close to Brown’s family, posted about his death on Facebook:
I [have] been notified that Joshua Brown who testified on the stand in the Amber Guyger trial was shot & killed last night, not sure what happen but I will keep you updated on new developments.
Lee Merritt, the attorney for Botham Jean’s family, later confirmed the news on Twitter and in a separate Facebook post.
“Joshua Brown, the next door neighbor of #BothamJean was killed last night after being shot several times by an unknown assailant,” Merritt noted. “Local media has reported on the shooting but have not confirmed Brown’s identity. Because, Brown worked closely with prosecutors just a week ago to ensure Amber Guyger was properly convicted in the murder trial, the DA’s office has fairly direct contact with Brown and his family. An ADA has confirmed that it was in fact Brown who was killed although they have yet to identify a suspect or motive for the shooting. The case is now in the hands of the Dallas Police Department. Brown’s testimony stood out as a fact witness who was approaching his apartment directly across from Botham Jean’s apartment when shots rang out.”
Online reaction thus far has been fierce–with many people terming Brown’s death an “assassination,” “hit,” and/or revenge on behalf of Dallas cops. While the timing of Brown’s death is suspicious, there is at this time no evidence to support such online characterizations of the killing.
Merritt also said that Brown lived “in constant fear” that he could be a victim of gun violence:
Brown was still visibly shaken up from the incident when he took the stand to testify on behalf of the prosecution. His murder underscores the reality of the black experience in America. A former athlete turned entrepreneur— Brown lived in constant fear that he could be the next victim of gun violence, either state sanctioned or otherwise. We have more work to do deal with the constant threats to our community both from within and without. Brown deserves the same justice he sought to ensure the Jean family. The Dallas County criminal justice system must mobilized to identify his killer and see that he is held accountable for this murder.
Merritt followed up to note that he recently spoke with Brown’s mother about her son’s death.
“I just spoke with Joshua Brown’s mother,” Merritt tweeted. “She is devastated. We all are. Joshua Brown was key witness in the murder of Botham Jean that helped put Amber Guyger away. We need answers.”
DPD did not confirm the identity of the victim when responding to a Law&Crime inquiry.
Instead, they referred us to their official release on the case:
On Friday, October 4, 2019, at approximately 10:37 p.m., Dallas patrol officers responded to a shooting call at the ATERA apartments located at 4606 Cedar Spring Road. Upon arrival, officers were flagged down by several witnesses directing them to the complainant’s location. The complainant was found lying on the ground in the apartment parking lot with multiple gunshot wounds. Dallas Fire-Rescue responded and transported the complainant to Parkland Memorial Hospital, where he died from his injuries.
Several witnesses heard several gunshots and observed a silver four-door sedan leaving the parking lot at a high rate of speed. There is no additional information on the suspect(s) at this time.
The complainant did not have any ID cards on him therefore, next of kin notification will be pending the ME examination and positive identification. It is important to note that there were no additional victims regarding this shooting call. The two victims I reported earlier that showed up at Parkland Hospital was not related to this shooting. This is an ongoing investigation, and no one is in custody.