A second suspect in the fatal shooting of Joshua Brown—a critical witness in the highly publicized murder trial of former Dallas cop Amber Guyger—has been arrested, while a third suspect remains on the run.
Michael Mitchell, 32, was apprehended by the United States Marshals in Marksville, Louisiana, police announced Tuesday night. His nephew, 20-year-old Jacquerious Mitchell is already in custody at a Dallas hospital after getting shot in what Dallas Police are describing as a drug deal gone wrong that also claimed Brown’s life, ABC News reports.
Dallas police said the Mitchells and 22-year-old Thaddeous Green drove from their home in Louisiana to meet Brown outside his Dallas apartment Friday night for a pre-arranged drug deal.
Jacquerious Mitchell told investigators that Green had gotten out of the car and had been talking with Brown when an argument broke out between the pair.
Jacquerious said he got out of the car, but was shot by Brown in the chest, according to The Dallas Morning News. He heard two more gunshots before the trio fled the scene, taking Brown’s gun and backpack with them.
Michael Mitchell dropped his nephew at an area hospital before fleeing the area.
Assistant Chief Avery Moore of the Dallas Police Department said at a news conference Tuesday that an autopsy found Brown had suffered two bullet wounds to his lower extremities including one that damaged the 28-year-old’s vital organs.
Initially there had been speculation that Brown’s death may have been linked to his role as a witness in Guyger’s trial for the death of 26-year-old Botham Jean, but authorities have said the suspects do not appear to have any connection with the case.
"As you know there's been speculation and rumors that have been shared by community leaders claiming that Mr. Brown's death was related to the Amber Guyger trial and somehow the Dallas Police Department was responsible. I assure you that is simply not true," Moore said, according to ABC News.
Brown had lived on the same floor as Jean and testified about what he heard the night Guyger entered Jean’s apartment and shot him several times. Guyger has said she believed she was in her own apartment and thought Jean, an accountant, was an intruder; however, Brown told jurors he heard what sounded like two people meeting in surprise and never heard the former police officer give Jean any commands to put his hands up before the fatal shots were fired.
Although he had only met Jean for the first time the day he was killed, he got emotional on the stand recalling overhearing his neighbor sing gospel and Drake songs.
Guyger was convicted of murder and sentenced to 10 years behind bars.
After Brown was killed, Moore said authorities received “numerous tips” about the killing. During a search of his apartment, authorities said they found 12 pounds of marijuana, 143 grams of THC cartridges and $4,000 in cash.
Mayor Eric Johnson applauded the police department for their quick work in identifying the men believed to be responsible for Brown’s death.
“I want to thank everyone who demonstrated patience and responsibly reserved their judgement while the Dallas Police Department gathered the facts regarding the death of Joshua Brown,” he said, according to the local paper.
Shortly before police announced the three suspects in Brown’s death, civil rights attorney Lee Merritt—who represents Jean’s family—said in a Facebook post that Brown had been a reluctant witness in the trial and had feared for his life before testifying.
The NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund had also called for an independent investigation into Brown’s death, calling it “highly suspicious.”
Brown was also involved in another shooting last November outside a Dallas area strip club. Brown was reportedly shot in the foot and his friend Nicholas Shaq-uan Diggs, 26, was killed.
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