Joshua Brown, the 28-year-old neighbor of Botham Jean, was shot dead on Friday (Oct. 4), just days after he testified in the murder trial of Jean’s killer, Dallas police officer Amber Guyger. The circumstances of Brown’s death remain a mystery (sources close to the investigation report that he was shot multiple times), and now people are demanding answers from law enforcement. The incident compounds the tragedy of Jean’s death, and has thrown more fuel on the outrage brought on by the case and verdict.
Here’s everything we know about Joshua Brown so far:
He was originally from Jacksonville, Florida, before he moved to Texas in 2008, according to his testimony during the trial.
WFAA reports the 28-year-old attended Arizona Western College before transferring to the University of South Florida where he studied interdisciplinary sciences and even played in eight games as a member of the USF Bulls football team.
Brown recorded 11 tackles during the 2012 season, with a season-high of five at Nevada. He ended up suffering a torn Achilles during a workout prior to the start of the 2013 season and did not play again, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
Kayvon Webster, a former Bulls teammate and current NFL free agent, tweeted late Saturday: “Another USF brother gone too soon!"
Another USF brother gone too soon !!— kwebb (@kayvonwebster) October 6, 2019
After college, Brown became a contractor for a few years doing roofing. During the time of his testimony, he said he was managing four Airbnb rental properties located in Los Angeles, Atlanta and Dallas.
Lee Merritt, an attorney for Botham Jean’s family, claims Brown lived in constant fear of gun violence and that is part of the reason he was so emotional on the witness stand during the trial.
Joshua Brown was shot and killed at the Atera Apartments late Friday – about five miles from the South Side Flats, where Botham Jean was shot. He was taken to Parkland Memorial Hospital and later reportedly died from his injuries.
Originally, his identity was not publicly confirmed by police because he did not have identification on him.
A suspect hasn’t been identified and a motive isn’t known at the moment. Dallas News reports witnesses say a silver four-door sedan was seen leaving the parking lot quickly after they heard gunshots.
Joshua Brown, according to his USF football bio, comes from a large family. He has four sisters and three brothers. One of his cousins was also a defender for a D1 college football team, playing cornerback for Nebraska.
This is another tragic case of a Black life taken too soon. While it’s not yet clear if Brown’s death was related to his testimony in Guyger’s trial, as some are speculating, we hope his killer or killers are brought to justice and his family can get closure amid their grief.
See some of the reactions to Brown’s death, below:
#Justice4JoshuaBrown -- we can't rest until his killer is found. Botham Jean was eating ice cream on his couch & Joshua Brown defended his right to be living. These men were just living their lives & they were stolen from them out of hatred, racism, & a disgusting police culture https://t.co/O0TOd4jDeW— Aveline (@avelinewrites) October 6, 2019
I’m so tired of my people being a damn hashtag.— B R E N T L E Y (@BrentleyBawn) October 6, 2019
We are not safe 😢#Justice4JoshuaBrown
This brother was murdered in the most hateful way. To the mouth and chest; meaning to shut him up (mouth) and leave him for dead (chest). These type of assassinations aren’t coincidental. #Justice4JoshuaBrown https://t.co/XpOcMGdgiY— Leila♥️ (@26_leilaaa) October 6, 2019
Photo: Mark Kaplan/picture alliance via Getty Images