The Dallas Police Department is investigating the murder Joshua Brown, who was found shot at the 4600 block of Cedar Springs Road late Friday night, October 4. Lee Merritt, an attorney for Botham Jean’s family, broke the news, saying on social media that an assistant district attorney identified the victim to him as Joshua Brown, a man who had testified in Amber Guyger’s murder trial. Local news sources and the police did not release the name right away, but his identity has now been confirmed.
In a tweet, Merritt said that Brown was shot in the mouth and in his chest as he got out of his car at his apartment complex, but he later clarified that exactly where Brown was shot was disputed. Autopsy reports later indicated that Brown was shot in the lower body. Merritt described the shooting as an “ambush” and as occurring at “close range.”
Police are now seeking Thaddeous Green after arresting Michael Mitchell on capital murder charges in connection with Brown’s death. Jacquerious Mitchell told police that Thaddeous shot Brown during a drug deal. Both Mitchells are in police custody.
Here is what we know so far about Joshua Brown and what happened:
1. Police Are Seeking Green as a Suspect in Joshua Brown’s Shooting
Brown was found at the 4600 block of Cedar Springs Road late Friday night, October 4, with multiple gunshot wounds, Dallas News reported. A map above shows the approximate location of the shooting at Atera Apartments, located near the Dallas North Tollway and Lemmon Avenue.
Brown was not shot at South Side Flats apartments, which was where he lived when Botham Jean was shot, according to NBC DFW. Atera Apartments is about five miles away from South Side Flats, where Botham Jean was shot.
Witnesses said that a silver four-door sedan was seen leaving the parking lot quickly after they heard gunshots, Dallas News reported. Suspects were not identified until Tuesday, October 8.
Brown was taken to Parkland Memorial Hospital and later died from his injuries. Brown’s identity was not immediately released by police because he did not have ID cards on him, NBC DFW reported. Police said at the time that they were waiting on confirmation from the medical examiner. Now his identity has been confirmed by local news.
Around the same time of Brown’s shooting, two other people drove themselves to the same hospital with gunshot wounds, but police later determined that those cases were not related, NBC DFW noted.
Thaddeous Charles Green, 22, is sought as a suspect in connection with Joshua Brown’s murder. Thaddeous Green is suspected to be the one who shot Joshua Brown, according to testimony from Jacquerious Mitchell who is in custody. and Michael Diaz Mitchell, 32, was also on the run but later found at a motel in Louisiana.
In a Dallas Police press conference, police said that all three suspects are from Alexandria, Louisiana and drove to Dallas to purchase drugs from Joshua Brown, according to testimony from Jacquerious Mitchell. Green was suspected of being the facilitator, police said. They said that according to Jacquerious Mitchell, Green got out of the vehicle and had a conversation with Brown that escalated to a physical altercation. When Jacquerious got out of the car, he said that Brown shot him in the chest. Then an argument broke out and he heard two shots while he was in the car. He said Green shot Brown.
Jacquerious Mitchell told police that Michael Mitchell dropped off Green somewhere, and then dropped off Jacquerious at the hospital. Green took Brown’s backpack and gun.
Both Green and Michael Mitchell are still at large and considered armed and dangerous.
In the press conference, police said they received numerous tips and executed a search warrant, where they confiscated 12 pounds of marijuana, 149 grams of THC cartridges, and more than $4,000 in cash, from Joshua Brown’s home.
According to Jacquerious Mitchell’s testimony to police, Green was the one who initiated the purchase from Brown.
2. Lee Merritt Said that Brown Was Shot at Close Range While Exiting His Car
Lee Merritt was the first to break the heartbreaking news about Joshua Brown’s death. He said that an assistant district attorney with the Dallas District Attorney’s office had initially confirmed to him that it was Joshua Brown who was killed.
Joshua Brown said in his recent testimony that he was 28 years old. An early report by NBC DFW identified the victim as being 37, but that appears to be incorrect. Merritt said he spoke with Joshua Brown’s mother, who confirmed her son’s tragic death and was devastated.
Merritt said Brown was shot at close range and his mother suspects foul play. Merritt initially said on Twitter that Brown was shot in the mouth and chest while exiting his car at his apartment complex.
Merritt later clarified that exactly where Brown was shot was unclear. He said in a Twitter post that immediate family told him Brown was shot in the mouth and chest, but Merritt was originally told that Brown was shot in the back. A witness who provided aide said he was shot in the side and the buttocks. “We will have to await the autopsy to know for sure,” Merritt concluded.
On Facebook, Merritt added: “His mother asked that I do whatever it takes to get to the bottom of his murder.”
During the press conference on Tuesday, October 8, police confirmed that Brown had been shot twice in the lower body, including once in the spine traveling upward.
3. Joshua Brown Lived Directly Across From Botham Jean
Joshua Brown had just testified in Amber Guyger’s trial, attorney Lee Merritt confirmed on Facebook. Brown’s apartment was directly across from Jean’s and he was walking to his apartment when he heard the gunshots, Merritt said.
Brown was still shaken up about the shooting when he testified, Merritt said. He wrote, in part:
Joshua Brown, the next door neighbor of #BothamJean was killed last night after being shot several times by an unknown assailant. 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. 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…”
You can see Brown’s testimony in the video below.
In his testimony, Brown said he had met Botham Jean that day and had heard him singing music around the complex before the day of his shooting. He would sing Gospel music and songs by Drake, Brown testified.
Brown testified on September 24 and was very emotional during his testimony. At one point he needed to take a break because he was so shaken up.
His full testimony is below:
He said he heard about a noise complaint from the leasing office earlier that day at 2 p.m. and that was when he met Botham Jean for the first time, just before Jean was later killed. He said the complaint was strange because there had been no noise. He left later that night to watch a football game.
4. Brown Was a Former Football Player for USF & an Entrepreneur Who Had Several AirBNB Properties
In his post about Brown, Merritt wrote that he was a former athlete and now worked as an entrepreneur in Dallas.
Lee Merritt wrote on Facebook about Brown: “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.”
Joshua Brown is originally from Jacksonville, Florida. He attended the University of South Florida for college (after attending Arizona Western College), studying interdisciplinary science. According to his witness testimony at Guyger’s trial, he was a roofing contractor for a few years after graduating from college and now he’s been running a business managing AirBNBs, including two in Los Angeles and one in Atlanta. He was working on getting another AirBNB in Dallas.
While at USF, Brown was on the football team as a defensive back, WTSP reported. He played in eight games. He had 11 tackles in the 2012 season, but was unable to play in 2013 after suffering a torn achilles during a workout, Tampa Bay Times reported.
You can see Brown’s 2012 football roster at USF here. A screenshot of his page is below.
According to his bio, Brown had a season-high five tackles at Nevada. He also played at Arizona Western CC and Lancaster High School. He appeared in nine games at Arizona Western and led the Matadors to an 11-1 record. While in high school, he earned letters in four sports and was a two-year letterman in football. He was the No. 60 cornerback prospect nationally after his senior season, according to Rivals.com.
USF said in a statement: “We are deeply saddened by the tragic passing of Joshua Brown in Dallas, Texas. Joshua was a much loved and valued member of our football program and athletic family and his loss is felt by many whose lives he positively touched. Our hearts go out to Joshua’s family, friends and loved-ones during this very difficult time.”
Kayvon Webster, a free agent in the NFL who was a Bulls cornerback, tweeted about Brown’s death.
USF offensive lineman Kofi Amichia told Tampa Bay Times that Brown was passionate and “one of the funniest guys at USF.”
Brown is the second member of USF’s 2012 football team to be killed, which is why teammates are tweeting about losing another USF teammate. Elkino Watson, defensive lineman, was stabbed and killed in September 2015.
Brown comes from a large family. According to his USF football bio, he has four sisters and three brothers. One of his cousins was a cornerback at Nebraska.
5. A $100,000 Reward Was Offered
Merritt shared on Twitter that he spoke with Brown’s mother and she was devastated. He wrote on Twitter: “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.” [sic]
Merritt later said on Twitter that Brown’s mother asked his office to investigate his murder. “She suspects foul play,” Merritt said in a tweet, adding that Brown had no known enemies.
Now Bill Perkins, author of Die with Zero and a friend of Shaun King, has provided $100,000 toward a reward for finding who killed Joshua Brown.
Perkins wrote on Twitter: “Every murder is sad. The particulars around this specific set of circumstances make it important that everyone learn why this happened irrespective of the outcome. Either way a killer needs to be caught & I wish in every case these resources could be brought to bear for justice.”