UPDATED 4/26, 9:44 a.m. ET: David Haynes, Isaiah Brown’s attorney, told USA Today over the weekend that Brown—who was not armed—was shot after the Virginia deputy “mistook a cordless house phone” for a gun. Prior to the shooting, per Haynes, Brown “clearly” informed a dispatcher that he was not armed. As Haynes explained, the 32-year-old is now “fighting for his life” due to “completely avoidable errors” by both the deputy and the dispatch office.
Late Friday, body cam footage and 911 audio was made public:
See original story below.
WRC-TV reports that 32-year-old Isaiah Brown is now in the intensive care unit after being wounded in the face, neck, chest, and pelvic area. His family is also confused as to how this even happened.
The incident took place outside Brown’s family’s home in Spotsylvania County, Virginia on early Wednesday morning. A deputy had given Brown a ride home after his car broke down at a gas station around 2:30 a.m. Isaiah’s brother Tamzon Brown told the news station that the deputy explained the situation, saying that Isaiah asked for a ride and added, “‘Your brother is fine. He’s not in trouble.’”
However, the deputy returned to the home after someone dialed 911. The sheriff’s department reported the call as a domestic disturbance. Tamzon believes that Isaiah was hoping to catch a ride back to his car to avoid it getting towed. Isaiah began walking away from the house and encountered the deputy.
“I’m just still trying to figure out where he felt the threat at, to feel the need to shoot,” Brown’s sister, Yolanda Brown, told WRC. Brown wasn’t carrying a weapon and the police haven’t told his family why the deputy shot him.
“The officer just started shooting at him for no reason. I didn’t hear a warning shot. All I heard was ‘Hands up!’ one time. And all he had was his phone, so I know he put his hands up,” Tazmon said. The incident was taped on the deputy’s body camera, which won’t be released since the Virginia State Police have opened an investigation into the matter.
The state police also shared a statement on Wednesday: “The sheriff’s deputy attempted to verbally engage Brown and it was during this encounter that the deputy discharged his service weapon.”