A drug deal gone bad and not the high-profile murder trial of ex-Dallas cop Amber Guyger is believed to blame for the death of key witness and neighbor of Black PwC associate Botham Jean, Dallas police announced Tuesday.
Joshua Brown, a Black 28-year-old man, was shot to death Friday at his Dallas apartment complex 10 days after he testified Sept. 25 that he saw Guyger on the phone in the hallway moments after she shot Jean.
The timing of Brown’s death led to social media speculation that it was related to the Guyger case, but details Assistant Chief Avery Moore revealed to reporters at a press conference painted a different picture.
When police caught up with Jacquerious Mitchell, a 20-year-old suspect in Brown’s death, he told them he and two other suspects came from Alexandria, La. to purchase drugs from Brown, Moore said.
The assistant chief identified those suspects as Thaddeous Charles Green, 22, and Michael Diaz Mitchell, 32.
In the incident, police also executed a search warrant at Brown’s apartment, where they confiscated 12 pounds of marijuana, 143 grams of THC, cartridges and $4,000, Moore said.
The incident unfolded after Green facilitated a drug deal and contacted Brown, Moore said.
He and the other suspects rode together to Brown’s apartment, and Green got out of the car when they arrived, Moore said.
Green then had a conversation with Brown that escalated to “physical altercations,” Moore said.
At that point, Jacquerious Mitchell told police he got out of the vehicle that Michael Mitchell drove and Brown ordered him to get back inside, Moore said.
It’s unclear what caused Brown to fire, but he shot Jacquerious Mitchell and hit him in the chest, the capital murder suspect told police.
“As he’s laying in the vehicle he hears two more gunshots,” Moore said. “He says that Thaddeous Green shot Joshua Brown two times.”
He was shot twice in his lower body, Moore said.
And while one of the bullets went straight through Brown, the other entered just below his spine, traveled upward and damaged vital organs, Moore said.
After the shooting, Green allegedly took Brown’s backpack and gun. Michael Mitchell allegedly dropped Green off at an unknown location, and the driver took the other Mitchell to the Promise Hospital of Dallas, Moore said.
“He was later transported to Parkland Hospital, where he is currently in police custody,” Moore said. “We will execute a warrant for capital murder on him today.”
Moore said capital murder warrants were also issued for Green and Michael Mitchell, who are still at large.
“We as a police department need your help in capturing the two fugitives that are not in custody,” Moore said in a public call to action.
He also addressed Brown’s family during the press conference.
“We in the Dallas Police Department grieve with you,” Moore said. “We understand how hard it is and how much pain is related to losing a loved one.
“No family member should have to suffer that kind of pain.”
Moore said it’s the police department’s policy to pursue all murder suspects “aggressively” and “thoroughly with the hope of bringing closure to the family.”
“As you know, I’ve said it before, that we value human life,” Moore added.