Joshua Brown played a vital role in the murder trial of former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger and his subsequent death has sent shock waves on both an international stage and within the USF community.
Brown, 28, was shot to death in Dallas on Friday just 10 days after serving as a key witness on behalf of his neighbor Botham Jean, who was killed in his South Side Flats apartment last September by Guyger. Guyger, another South Side Flats resident, mistakenly entered Jean’s apartment thinking it was her own and shot him to death. The trial garnered attention widespread attention and Guyger was ultimately convicted and sentenced to 10 years in state prison.
According to the Dallas Morning News, witnesses told police that they heard several gunshots and saw a four-door silver sedan speeding out of Brown’s current apartment complex near Dallas’ Medical District. No suspect description has been released.
I just spoke with Joshua Browns mother. She is devastated. We all are. Joshua Brown was key witness in the murder of Botham Jean that helped put Amber Guyger away. We need answers. pic.twitter.com/5BCdkVXoQ4— S. Lee Merritt, Esq. (@MeritLaw) October 5, 2019
A native of Jacksonville before moving to Lancaster, TX, in high school, Brown played college football at USF, transferring from Arizona Western C.C. in 2012 where he recorded 11 tackles and got one start for the Bulls under Skip Holtz.
An Achilles tear before the 2013 campaign ultimately ended his short tenure with the Green and Gold. Joey Knight of the Tampa Bay Times spoke with some of his USF former teammates and got their reactions to the tragedy.
Killed my dawg for being brave and stepping forward when nobody else would bra got a daughter and all .... damn this crazy https://t.co/gxWJlrhS0x— kwebb (@kayvonwebster) October 6, 2019
Rest peacefully Joshua Brown one of coach @tcminnick11 players at AZ Western as well as USF and a key witness who testified in Amber Guyger Case was murdered in the same week of the verdict— Tevin Studdard (@TevinStuddard) October 6, 2019
You lost your life standing for truth for another brother, you got ultimate respect King pic.twitter.com/UjHm2j6ZmH
Current USF head football coach spoke about Brown to open up his weekly press conference on Monday:
“It’s just so sad to hear about the loss of one of our former players Josh Brown. Our hearts and our prayers go out to his family and his friends,” Strong said. “Lindsay (Lamar) was just talking about him because Lindsay had a chance to play with him. You hate to see that happen, especially at such a young age.”
“He bravely came forward to testify when others wouldn’t, “ said Dallas County prosecutor Jason Hermus. “If we had more people like him, we would have a better world.”
And make no mistake, it took a tremendous amount of bravery and courage for Brown to step forward in a high-stakes trial and speak truth to power. There were already established risks of what could potentially happen if he did so and according to his family attorney, he was initially reluctant to testify out of fear for his life. He stepped forward anyway and he’ll be remembered forever for helping provide a sliver justice for his slain neighbor.
Hopefully that same courage and bravery is applied when bringing his killers to justice. #JusticeforJoshuaBrown.