“They met him at his home, ambushed him at his car, and took his life,” Attorney Lee Merritt, who represented the Jean family during the trial and is now representing Brown’s family, told NBC’s Today show on Monday (October 7).
The 28-year-old’s testimony on September 24 was key in landing a guilty verdict and sentencing Guyger to 10 years in prison.
Brown lived across the hall from Jean and was able to help the prosecution piece together the events of his murder on the night he was killed inside his own apartment when Guyger mistakenly thought it was her place.
From inside his apartment, Brown could see Guyger on the phone, crying, and heard her say, “I went into the wrong apartment.”
Merritt said the trial may have put a target on Brown, who already feared for his life after being shot in a club last year, according to NBC.
“Josh Brown expressed concerns about the exposure he would get from this trial,” Merritt told NBC. “He expressed concerns about his safety.”
Merritt told CBS that Brown “had been shot less than a year ago and someone standing near him was killed. He was reluctant to testify in this case because he had been shot at and he thought some people might want to do harm to him.”
Merritt also said Brown would have been one of the first witnesses in the Jean family’s civil case against the city of Dallas, CBS reports.
“To have a key witness, suddenly be killed is suspicious,” Merritt told CBS. “Was this related to the trial? There is no clear indication.”
The attorney added to CBS that if Brown “had concerns for his safety, then the city, the county had an obligation to ensure that those concerns were met.”
Brown was shot and killed late Friday (Oct. 4) at the Atera Apartments in Dallas, approximately five miles away from the South Side Flats apartment complex where Jean was killed.
He was found lying on the ground in the apartment complex parking lot with multiple gunshot wounds to his lower body, police said, NBC reports.
He was taken to Parkland Memorial Hospital where he later died due to his injuries.
The circumstances of his death remain unclear, but witnesses reported a silver four-door sedan leaving the parking lot quickly after they heard gunshots.
On Sunday (October 6), Dallas police were still looking for a suspect and motive in Brown’s shooting, NBC reports.
“There are no suspects or motives at this time,” Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall said in a statement Sunday (October 6), according to NBC. “We are committed to solving this case and will work diligently to apprehend the individuals responsible for Brown’s death.”
Merritt strongly feels this case should be handed off to another law enforcement agency.
“The importance of transparency in the case given the suspicion surrounding his death, I can’t emphasize how important that is,” he told NBC. “I hope the city of Dallas handles that the right way.”