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, NBC News reported that the second of the three, Michael Diaz Mitchell, had been taken into custody in Louisiana. Earlier that day, Assistant Chief Avery Moore said that one of the suspects, Jacquerious Mitchell, 20, was in custody at Parkland Hospital.
During that news conference, held at Dallas police headquarters, officials said Brown was fatally shot Friday in a drug deal gone bad at an apartment complex on Cedar Springs Road. All three suspects came from Alexandria, La., to purchase drugs from him, police said.
The third suspect, Thaddeous Charles Green, 22, remains at large.
The announcement of the suspects’ names came as pressure increased from community leaders for an independent investigation into Brown’s case. Brown had testified in the murder trial of Guyger, a former Dallas police officer convicted of murder last week and sentenced to 10 years in prison.
The timing of Brown’s death raised public speculation about whether the shooting was somehow tied to his testimony.
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 this 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 remaining suspects. Moore 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.
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 also 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 four-door sedan speed out of the parking lot.
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SOURCE: The Dallas Morning News, Cassandra Jaramillo and Marc Ramirez