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Peers stunned over shooting death of former USF defensive back Joshua Brown

The Bulls cornerback was a key witness in a prominent Dallas murder trial.
In this Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019, photo, victim Botham Jean's neighbor Joshua Brown, left, answers questions from Assistant District Attorney LaQuita Long, right, while pointing to a map of the South Side Flats where he lives, while testifying during the murder trial of former Dallas Police Officer Amber Guyger, in Dallas. Authorities say that Brown, a former USF football player, was killed in a shooting Friday, Oct. 4. [TOM FOX  |  AP]
In this Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019, photo, victim Botham Jean's neighbor Joshua Brown, left, answers questions from Assistant District Attorney LaQuita Long, right, while pointing to a map of the South Side Flats where he lives, while testifying during the murder trial of former Dallas Police Officer Amber Guyger, in Dallas. Authorities say that Brown, a former USF football player, was killed in a shooting Friday, Oct. 4. [TOM FOX | AP]
Published Oct. 6, 2019
Updated Oct. 6, 2019

USF teammates recalled former Bulls defensive back Joshua Brown as a humorous, outspoken peer upon learning of his death Saturday evening.

The Dallas Morning News reported that Brown, a crucial witness in the high-profile trial of a white Dallas police officer who fatally shot her black neighbor, was shot and killed Friday in Dallas. He was 28.

“He was a passionate individual,” former USF offensive lineman Kofi Amichia said via text message Saturday evening. “A guy that always spoke his mind no matter what, and one of the funniest guys at USF. Could make anybody laugh.”

A native of Lancaster, Texas, Brown transferred to USF in 2012 from an Arizona junior college. He appeared in eight games in 2012, recording five of his 11 tackles in a dramatic 32-31 victory at Nevada.

He sustained a torn Achilles prior to the 2013 season and never played for the Bulls again.

Former Bulls cornerback Kayvon Webster described Brown as athletic and competitive, recalling his love for video games.

“I remember first meeting him and him talking to himself in the third person,” Webster said. “It was funny to me.”

Brown testified in Amber Guyger’s trial about the September 2018 night that Botham Jean ― who lived in the same apartment complex as Brown ― was killed.

Brown testified he was in a hallway on the fourth floor, where he and Jean lived, the Associated Press reported. He said he heard what sounded like “two people meeting by surprise” and then two gunshots.

Guyger, fired from the police department shortly after the shooting, testified that she mistook Jean’s apartment for her own one floor below and shot him after pushing open his unlocked door and presuming he was a burglar. She was convicted Tuesday and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

"(Brown) bravely came forward to testify when others wouldn’t, " Jason Hermus, lead prosecutor in the Guyger case, told the Dallas Morning News. “If we had more people like him, we would have a better world.”

Police said in a news release that they responded to a shooting shortly after 10:30 p.m. Friday at an apartment complex different from the one where Jean was killed. Lee Merritt, a lawyer for the Jean family, said in a tweet Saturday that he spoke with Brown’s mother and that she is “devastated.”

Brown becomes the second member of USF’s 2012 team to be killed. Former Bulls defensive lineman Elkino Watson was fatally stabbed during an altercation in Ybor City in September 2015.

“Just sucks to see another brother lose their life so young,” Webster said.

Contact Joey Knight at jknight@tampabay.com. Follow @TBTimes_Bulls.

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