Updated at 9:50 a.m., Oct. 9 to reflect a second arrest.
Three suspects have been identified and two arrested in the murder of Joshua Brown, a key witness in the murder trial of former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger.
Dallas police insisted at a news conference on Tuesday that Brown died n a botched drug deal unrelated to his testimony in Guyger’s case, NBC News reported.
Twitter users aren’t buying it.
“I don’t believe for a second it was a ‘botched’ drug deal. Dallas cops should have nothing to do with this case,” one person commented.
The suspects — identified as Jacquerious Mitchell, 20; Michael Mitchell, 32; and Thaddeous Green, 22 — traveled from Alexandria, Louisiana, to buy drugs from Brown in the parking lot of a Dallas apartment complex, according to Dallas police.
Assistant Police Chief Avery Moore said that Brown and Green got into an argument. Jacquerious got out of his car, and Brown shot him. Green then fired at Brown, hitting him in the lower body. The three suspects took Jacquerious to a hospital where he was arrested. The other two suspects remain at large.
Michael Mitchell was arrested in Marksville, Louisiana, by U.S. Marshals, the Dallas Police Department said in an update after 10 p.m. Tuesday.
Brown had lived across the hall from Botham Jean at the Southside Flats apartment building in Dallas. Former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger was sentenced to 10 years in prison after a jury found her guilty of murder for fatally shooting Jean, who was unarmed, in his apartment. Her defense? She said she mistook his apartment for her own.
Brown, 28, was a key witness in Guyger’s murder trial. He testified about hearing Jean singing gospel and Drake songs before Guyger took his life. Brown was shot to death on Oct. 4, just two days after Guyger’s trial ended.
At the press conference Tuesday, Assistant Police Chief Moore tried to downplay what he described as rumors and speculation.
“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,” he said. “I assure you that is simply not true. And I encourage those leaders to be mindful of their actions moving forward because their words have jeopardized the integrity of the city of Dallas as well as the Dallas Police Department.”
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Jean’s mother, Allison Jean, drew attention to corruption in the Dallas Police Department on the day the guilty verdict was handed down to Guyger. She told journalists that citizens need to fight for change in Dallas and blasted the Dallas Police Department’s training methods.
“If Amber Guyger was trained not to shoot in the heart, my son would be alive today,” Allison said. “He was no threat to her. He had no reason to be a threat to her, because he was in his own apartment.”
Brown repeatedly expressed concerns that testifying in the Guyger trial would put his life at risk, according to Lee Merritt, an attorney for the Jean family. Brown left Dallas for California, but returned at the behest of prosecutors, according to the New York Post.
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