Friends remember Joshua Brown, Botham Jean’s neighbor, who was killed after he testified at Guyger’s murder trial.
Dallas police responded to reports of gunshots at the 4600 block of Cedar Springs Road around 10:30 pm on Friday. They found Brown unresponsive on the ground with multiple gunshot wounds.
Witnesses reported seeing a silver four-door sedan speeding out of the parking lot.
Brown was rushed to Parkland Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Brown, 28, was gunned down about 5 miles from the South Side Flats complex in Dallas where he previously lived across the hall from Jean.
Brown was a defensive back for the University of South Florida. His former teammates were stunned to learn of his murder just 10 days after he testified against former Dallas cop Amber Guyger at her murder trial.
“He was a passionate individual,” former USF offensive lineman Kofi Amichia told a reporter via text message Saturday evening. “A guy that always spoke his mind no matter what, and one of the funniest guys at USF. Could make anybody laugh.”
Brown was a native of Lancaster, Texas, who transferred to USF in 2012 from an Arizona junior college.
He played in 8 games for USF in 2012. But he suffered a career-ending injury when he tore his Achilles tendon before the start of the 2013 season.
Former Bulls cornerback Kayvon Webster described Brown as athletic and competitive.
“Just sucks to see another brother lose their life so young,” Webster said.
Twitter activist Shaun King announced a $100,000 reward for information leading to Brown’s killers.
And we won’t stop until we find who murdered Joshua and why.
It was an execution.
— Shaun King (@shaunking) October 6, 2019
Brown testified on day 2 of Guyger’s murder trial. His testimony was key because it conflicted with Guyger’s claim that she shot “an intruder” after he refused her verbal commands.
Brown broke down in tears on the witness stand when he recalled hearing the 26-year-old accountant singing gospel music in his apartment every morning.
Civil rights attorney Lee Merritt, who represents the Jean family, tweeted that Brown was “ambushed” and shot “at close range” in the mouth and chest as he got out of his car at his apartment complex on Friday night.
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
His tweet sparked rampant rumors that Brown’s murder was in retaliation for his testimony in court.
Merritt later clarified that he didn’t know where Brown was shot. But he hinted that Brown may have been targeted for testifying against Guyger, 31.
Where #JoshuaBrown was shot seems to be disputed. I was told by immediate family that the ME said mouth and chest. Initially I was told in the back. I just heard from a witness who provided aide to a wound in the buttocks and side. We will have to await the autopsy to be sure. pic.twitter.com/xjqxQ8QanF
— S. Lee Merritt, Esq. (@MeritLaw) October 6, 2019
“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,” Merritt said on Saturday.
“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,” he added.
Merritt said he spoke with Brown’s mother and that she is “devastated.”
Dallas County prosecutor Jason Hermus, praised Brown on Saturday, saying he was “brave” to testify. Hermus said more people should be like him.
“He bravely came forward to testify when others wouldn’t,” said Hermus. “If we had more people like him, we would have a better world.”