Police seek motive in the killing of Joshua Brown, who testified against a white police officer who murdered her black neighbor, Botham Jean
Police in Texas are seeking a motive in the slaying of a witness who testified in the murder trial of a white Dallas police officer, Amber Guyger, who fatally shot her black neighbor, Botham Jean.
An attorney for 28-year-old Joshua Brown said he was fatally shot on Friday night. Lee Merritt said he spoke with Browns mother and shes devastated. He said in a statement on Sunday: We need answers.
Dallas police have confirmed a fatal shooting on Friday night, but have not said who was killed. The Dallas Morning News first reported that the person was Brown.
The newspaper reported that authorities said Brown, who lived in the same apartment complex as Guyger and Jean, was shot and killed on Friday in Dallas.
Last year Guyger was still in her police uniform after a long shift when, according to her trial testimony, she mistook Jeans apartment for her own one floor below and shot him after pushing open his unlocked door and thinking he was a burglar.
Brown, 28, testified in Guygers trial about the September 2018 night that Jean was killed, saying he was in a hallway on the fourth floor, where he and Jean lived. He said he heard what sounded like two people meeting by surprise and then two gunshots.
Brown, who became emotional at times and used his T-shirt and tissues to wipe his tears, said he had met Jean, a 26-year-old accountant from the Caribbean island nation of St Lucia, for the first time earlier that day.
Guyger, 31, was fired from the department soon after the shooting. She was convicted on Tuesday and sentenced the next day to 10 years in prison.
The newspaper did not cite authorities by name for confirmation of Browns death. On Saturday a Dallas police spokesman would not confirm to the Associated Press that it was Brown who was shot on Friday. He said the Dallas County medical examiners office would determine the identification on Sunday.
Police said in a news release that they responded to the shooting shortly after 10.30pm on Friday at an apartment complex different from the one where Jean was killed. They said several witnesses flagged officers down when they arrived and directed them to an apartment parking lot where the man who was shot was lying on the ground with multiple wounds.
The man was taken to a hospital, where he died.
Witnesses told police they heard several gunshots and saw a silver four-door sedan speeding out of the parking lot, according to the police news release.
Lee Merritt, a lawyer for the Jean family, said in a tweet on Saturday that he spoke to Browns mother and she was devastated.
We all are, Merritt said. Joshua Brown was a key witness in the murder of Botham Jean that helped put Amber Guyger away. We need answers.
In a statement he included with the tweet, he said authorities have not identified a suspect or determined a motive.
Brown deserves the same justice he sought to ensure the Jean family, Merritt said in the statement.
Dallas County prosecutor Jason Hermus said Brown bravely came forward to testify when others wouldnt, according to the newspaper.
If we had more people like him, we would have a better world, said Hermus, who was lead prosecutor in the case.