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Joshua Brown, the 28-year-old who testified as a key witness in Amber Guyger’s murder trial, was fatally shot in an apartment complex in Dallas, merely two days after Guyger was sentenced to 10 years in prison–a sentence that has been met with criticism.
According to CNN, Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot confirmed Brown’s death on Saturday night. Brown was also neighbor to Botham Jean, the man who was fatally shot by Guyger in his own apartment. Brown was acting as a witness for the prosecution.
Many find the timing and circumstances surrounding Brown’s death suspicious, leading #Justice4JoshuaBrown to trend on Twitter.
“#Justice4JoshuaBrown this story doesn’t sit right with my spirit. Innocent man found dead after he testified again the cop who got 10 years in Dallas for her killing an unarmed black man in his own apartment. This case was messed up from the beginning and tampered with,” Twitter user @PhoenixHolley wrote.
He feared he would be killed for testifying against a cop and what happened? He’s shot in the very apartment complex that Botham Jean was murdered in. Something feels...wrong. I’m sure they’ll say it was a failed carjacking or something. #Justice4JoshuaBrown https://t.co/NBf4TqvUFu— Stevie-Marie (@steviedactyl) October 6, 2019
#Justice4JoshuaBrown was first. She will be next if not placed in witness protection. But who will protect her? The police? She has no protection. I'm afraid for her life. My God. So easy, so covered in protection that they can scheme to snuff out young black lives like that! https://t.co/fr59oLnteF— JusLovey (@AgapeLoveAllDay) October 6, 2019
@DallasPD is illegitimate and there is no way that they should investigate this case. The investigation for the murder of Joshua Brown should be done independent of this incompetent agency. They are suspects. #Justice4JoshuaBrown— Talley: Shea Butter Hottie (@Talleyberrybaby) October 6, 2019
How did a educated black entrepreneur man get gunned down in an nonviolent apartment complex with no affiliation with gangs or drug trafficking. @DallasPD @dallasnews @DallasMayor ??? How? #Justice4JoshuaBrown #— Black Girls Workout (@blkgirlsworkout) October 6, 2019
#Justice4JoshuaBrown this story doesn’t sit right with my spirit. Innocent man found dead after he testified again the cop who got 10 years in Dallas for her killing a unarmed black man in his own apartment. This case was messed up from the beginning and tampered with. https://t.co/FS2zELaAFA— Phoenix (@PhoenixHolley) October 6, 2019
Joshua Brown, the next door neighbor of Botham Jean and key witness to his murder, his testimony convicted Amber Guyger— StanceGrounded (@_SJPeace_) October 5, 2019
He was murdered Friday Night in Dallas, Texas.
This is devastating 💔😭
HE WAS A HERO! KNOW HIS NAME AND DEMAND JUSTICE #Justice4JoshuaBrown pic.twitter.com/13RE80BchU
Lee Merritt, Jean’s family attorney who spoke with Brown’s mother, also confirmed it was Brown who lost his life in the shooting, which took place at Atera Apartments around 10:30pm Friday.
Joshua Brown was shot in his mouth & chest. He was exiting his car at his apt when he was ambushed & shot at close range. His mother asked my office to help find out who murdered her son. She suspects foul play. He had no known enemies. He worked for a living. We need answers. pic.twitter.com/k0KizSLMHi— S. Lee Merritt, Esq. (@MeritLaw) October 5, 2019
I just spoke with Joshua Browns mother. 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. pic.twitter.com/5BCdkVXoQ4— S. Lee Merritt, Esq. (@MeritLaw) October 5, 2019
Authorities responded to the shooting and were directed to the apartment complex’s parking lot, where Brown’s body lay riddled with bullet wounds. Brown was taken to Parkland Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
No suspects or motives have yet to be released, but witnesses did report seeing a silver four-door sedan fleeing the scene just moments after gunshots were heard.
In a Facebook post, Merritt revealed details surrounding Brown’s death and also called for an investigation into the murder
“I just learned from the medical examiner that Joshua was shot in his mouth and his chest,” Merritt wrote. “He was ambushed at his apartment complex as he got out of his car and shot at close range.”
Merritt also added that Brown’s mother “suspects foul play” and that it is “hard to rule out.”
During Brown’s emotional testimony, he told the courtroom that he met Jean for the first time the day he was killed. He also said that he often heard Jean singing gospel music and Drake in his apartment.
“His murder underscores the reality of the black experience in America,” Merritt wrote about Brown’s death. “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.”
Tiffanie Drayton is a geek culture and lifestyle reporter whose work covers everything from gender and race to anime and Xbox. Her work has appeared in Complex, Salon, Marie Claire, Playboy, and elsewhere.