2 ar­rested, 1 sought in death of Guyger trial wit­ness

Po­lice say Brown was shot dur­ing a drug deal gone bad

The Dallas Morning News - - FRONT PAGE - By CAS­SAN­DRA JARAMILLO Staff Writer [email protected]­las­news.com

Af­ter days of spec­u­la­tion sur­round­ing the shoot­ing of Joshua Brown, a wit­ness in the Am­ber Guyger trial, Dal­las po­lice iden­ti­fied three sus­pects Tues­day in con­nec­tion with Brown’s death.

Tues­day evening, KXAS­TV (NBC5) re­ported that the sec­ond of the three, Michael Diaz Mitchell, had been ar­rested in Louisiana. Ear­lier that day, Dal­las As­sis­tant Po­lice Chief Avery Moore said that one of the sus­pects, Jac­que­ri­ous Mitchell, 20, was in cus­tody at Park­land Me­mo­rial Hospi­tal.

Dur­ing that news con­fer­ence, held at Dal­las po­lice head­quar­ters, of­fi­cials said Brown was fa­tally shot Fri­day dur­ing a drug deal gone bad at an apart­ment com­plex on Cedar Springs Road. All three sus­pects came from Alexan­dria, La., to buy drugs from him, po­lice said.

The third sus­pect, Thad­deous Charles Green, 22, re­mained at large late Tues­day.

Brown’s fam­ily de­clined a re­quest for an in­ter­view through civil rights at­tor­ney

Lee Mer­ritt on Tues­day but said in a state­ment the depart­ment should not con­tinue to lead the in­ves­ti­ga­tion. The state­ment did not re­fute any de­tails from po­lice of­fi­cials.

“A cloud of sus­pi­cion will rest over this case un­til steps are taken to en­sure the trust­wor­thi­ness of the process,” the fam­ily said in a writ­ten state­ment.

Moore gave con­do­lences to the Brown fam­ily and said the depart­ment was work­ing dili­gently to find the one sus­pect who is at large. He then ad­dressed the con­spir­acy the­o­ries and said they “sim­ply are not true.”

With­out point­ing to spe­cific state­ments, he is­sued a warn­ing to com­mu­nity lead­ers.

“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,” he said.

Apart­ment searched

Ac­cord­ing to po­lice, the three sus­pects were in the same car when they ar­rived at Brown’s apart­ment com­plex Fri­day night. Green got out of the car to talk to Brown, which led to an al­ter­ca­tion be­tween the two men. Jac­que­ri­ous Mitchell told po­lice that when he got out of the car, Brown shot him first.

Jac­que­ri­ous Mitchell told po­lice he heard two more gun­shots as he lay in­side the ve­hi­cle.

Green took Brown’s back­pack and gun, po­lice said. Michael Mitchell was the driver and dropped off Green at an un­known lo­ca­tion. Michael Mitchell then dropped off Jac­que­ri­ous, who is his nephew, at the hospi­tal.

Of­fi­cers were called Fri­day night to the Atera apart­ments in the 4600 block of Cedar Springs Road, where wit­nesses re­ported hear­ing gun­shots and see­ing a sil­ver four­door sedan speed out of the park­ing lot.

Po­lice said when they searched Brown’s apart­ment, they con­fis­cated 12 pounds of mar­i­juana, 143 grams of THC car­tridges and $4,000 in cash.

The shoot­ing oc­curred about 31⁄2 miles from the South Side Flats com­plex in the Cedars, where Brown had lived across the hall from Botham Jean, the black neigh­bor Guyger shot as he sat in his apart­ment. Gu­gyer, a white of­fi­cer, was off duty when the shoot­ing oc­curred and said she had mis­taken Jean’s apart­ment for her own.

The depart­ment con­firmed Sun­day af­ter­noon that Brown was the vic­tim of­fi­cers found around 10:30 p.m. Fri­day with mul­ti­ple gun­shot wounds to his lower body. He died af­ter be­ing taken to Park­land Me­mo­rial Hospi­tal.

An­other shoot­ing

Brown was also con­nected to a shoot­ing last year at a strip club in north­west Dal­las that left a man dead.

Ac­cord­ing to an af­fi­davit, a man had waited for Brown out­side Dal­las Cabaret and fought him when he came out. When Brown tried to leave, the man started shoot­ing, killing Nicholas Shaq’uan Diggs, 26, and in­jur­ing Brown.

But po­lice on Tues­day said they did not have ev­i­dence that the three sus­pects were con­nected to that in­ci­dent.

Brown’s death has prompted re­sponse from lo­cal and na­tional pub­lic of­fi­cials, in­clud­ing some pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates.

Mayor Eric John­son had urged pa­tience af­ter Brown’s death shocked the city. In a state­ment Tues­day, he ap­plauded the ef­forts by Dal­las detectives.

“I want to thank ev­ery­one who demon­strated pa­tience and re­spon­si­bly re­served their judg­ment while the Dal­las Po­lice Depart­ment gath­ered the facts re­gard­ing the death of Joshua Brown. I urge any­one with ad­di­tional in­for­ma­tion about this case to come for­ward,” John­son said.

Emo­tional tes­ti­mony

State Dis­trict Judge Tammy Kemp, who presided over Guyger’s trial, re­called how Brown was vis­i­bly moved dur­ing the tes­ti­mony.

Dur­ing the trial, Brown tes­ti­fied about the night Jean, who lived across the hall from him, was shot.

He told the jury he had re­turned home af­ter watch­ing a foot­ball game at a bar the night of Sept. 6, 2018. Stand­ing in the hall­way, he heard what sounded like “two peo­ple meet­ing by sur­prise,” fol­lowed by gun­fire.

Brown got emo­tional when he re­counted that he hadn’t met Jean be­fore that day — they were both vis­ited by the leas­ing of­fice about a noise com­plaint — but he often heard his neigh­bor sing gospel mu­sic and Drake.

Brown, 28, had played foot­ball at the Univer­sity of South Florida. He was from Jack­sonville, Fla., and had worked man­ag­ing Airbnbs be­fore his death.

Tom Fox/staff Pho­tog­ra­pher

As­sis­tant Chief of Po­lice Avery Moore paused as he of­fered con­do­lences to Joshua Brown’s fam­ily dur­ing a news con­fer­ence Tues­day at Dal­las po­lice head­quar­ters. Po­lice say Brown was killed in a drug deal gone bad.

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