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Police name three suspects in killing of witness at Dallas cop's trial

Three Louisiana men are suspected in the killing of a witness who testified at the murder trial of a former Dallas police officer, authorities said today, cautioning that the killing had nothing at all to do with that trial or case.

The suspects — Jacquerious Mitchell, 20; Michael Mitchell, 32, and Thaddeous Green, 22 — are from Alexandria, Louisiana, and investigators believe they were in Dallas to buy drugs from Joshua Brown, Assistant Chief Avery Moore said at a news conference.

Moore said Jacquerious Mitchell told police that Brown shot him in the chest after Green and Brown began fighting during the drug deal, and that Green then shot Brown twice.

Jacquerious Mitchell is in a Dallas hospital in "critical condition," police said. Neither Michael Mitchell, who is Jacquerious' uncle, nor Thaddeous Green are in custody.

Green left with Brown's backpack and gun, police said.

Authorities confiscated 5.4 kilogrammes of marijuana, 149 grams of THC cartridges and more than $4000 ($6350 NZD) in cash during a search of Brown's home.

Fired Dallas police officer Amber Guyger becomes emotional as she testifies in her murder trial in Dallas. Source: Associated Press

Brown's death Friday night (local time) came two days after a jury sentenced former police Officer Amber Guyger to 10 years in prison for killing her upstairs neighbour, Botham Jean. Guyger killed Jean in September 2018 in his fourth-floor apartment, which she said she mistook for her own unit one floor below.

Brown, who lived on the same floor as Jean, testified that on the night Jean was killed, he heard what sounded like "two people meeting by surprise" and then two gunshots. He said he had met Jean, a 26-year-old accountant from the Caribbean island nation of St. Lucia, for the first time earlier that day.

An attorney for Brown's family previously said Brown had had reservations about testifying in such a high-profile trial because he had been wounded in a shooting outside of a Dallas strip club last year. Police Major Max Geron said today that investigators have no evidence linking that shooting to Brown's death.

Dallas' mayor and other officials had asked the public to refrain from speculating about the circumstances surrounding Brown's killing while police investigated. Moore addressed that today.

"As you know, there's been speculation and rumours that have been shared by community leaders claiming that Mr Brown's death was related to the Amber Guyger trial and somehow the Dallas Police Department was responsible," Moore said. "I assure that is simply not true and I encourage those leaders to be mindful of their actions moving forward because their words have jeopardised the integrity of the city of Dallas as well as the Dallas Police Department."

The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund Inc. had requested an independent investigation into Brown's death, calling it "deeply alarming and highly suspicious" in a news release.

Botham Jean's neighbour Joshua Brown answers questions while testifying during the murder trial of former Dallas Police Officer Amber Guyger, in Dallas. Source: Associated Press