Dallas police investigate death of witness in ex-cop’s trial
DALLAS — A man who testified in the murder trial of a white Dallas police officer who fatally shot her black neighbor was killed in a shooting, his attorney said.
Dallas police said they were investigating Friday night’s shooting that left one man dead and that authorities do not yet have a motive. Police have not released the victim’s name, but attorney Lee Merritt posted a statement on Twitter saying that Joshua Brown was the person who killed. Brown lived in the same apartment complex as Amber Guyger and Botham Jean and testified at Guyger’s trial, where she was convicted of murder on Tuesday.
Merritt said he had spoken with Brown’s mother and “she is devastated.”
“We need answers,” Merritt wrote.
Brown’s death was first reported by The Dallas Morning News.
Brown, 28, testified in Guyger’s trial about the September 2018 night that Jean was killed. Guyger was still in her police uniform after a long shift when, according to her trial testimony, she mistook Jean’s apartment for her own one floor below and shot him after pushing open his unlocked door and thinking he was a burglar.
Brown said he was in a hallway on the fourth floor, where he and Jean lived. He said he heard what sounded like “two people meeting by surprise” and then two gunshots.
At times during his testimony, Brown became emotional and used his T-shirt and tissue to wipe his tears. He said he had met Jean, a 26-year-old accountant from the Caribbean island nation of St. Lucia, for the first time earlier that day.
Guyger, 31, was fired from the department soon after the shooting. She was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in prison.
The shooting that killed Brown happened at a different apartment complex, according to a Dallas police news release. That statement said several witnesses flagged down officers who were responding to a call about the shooting. The witnesses directed police to an apartment parking lot where a man was lying on the ground with multiple gunshot wounds, the release said.
Witnesses described hearing several gunshots, according to the news release, and saw a silver four-door sedan speeding off from the parking lot. No one else was shot.
Merritt said Brown “deserves the justice he sought to ensure the Jean family.”
Kimberly Leach, director of communications for the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office, did not immediately reply to telephone and email requests Sunday from The Associated Press seeking comment about the case. The Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Office said it was unclear when it would be able to release information about the victim.