Quintez Brown: Rising star honoured by Obama arrested for attempted assassination of mayoral candidate

Suspect disappeared for two weeks after which his family said they need to look into his mental needs

Shweta Sharma
Wednesday 16 February 2022 15:34
<p>Quintez Brown has been charged with attempted murder and wanton endangerment </p>

Quintez Brown has been charged with attempted murder and wanton endangerment

Quintez Brown, a 21-year-old activist who was honoured by Barack Obama’s foundation as a “rising face” in 2019, has been charged with attempting to murder a mayoral candidate in Louisville.

Mr Brown was arrested for allegedly trying to shoot democratic frontrunner Craig Greenberg after walking into his office with a 9mm Glock handgun on Monday and reportedly firing several shots. None of the five people in Mr Greenberg’s office were injured but a bullet grazed his shirt.

He was found almost half a mile away about 10 minutes after the 911 call, police said. He was carrying a 9mm clip in his pants pocket and additional clips in his bag.

Mr Brown, a student at the University of Louisville and a former columnist for the Courier-Journal, is facing several serious charges, including attempted murder and four counts of wanton endangerment. He pleaded not guilty on Tuesday, when a judge set his bail at $100,000.

He served as the president of the Black Students’ Union at the duPont Manual High School in Louisville. He was also involved in activism with the Black Lives Matter movement and social-justice issues, leading him to be featured on MSNBC in 2018, where he spoke about wanting “common-sense gun reform”.

He was selected by an Obama Foundation program and was featured as a “rising face” in 2019. He participated in Mr Obama’s  “My Brother’s Keeper” programme, becoming one of just 22 students from the country to be invited to the inaugural event, and met the former president, reported the Daily Beast.

“I have seen the consequences of poverty and centuries of systemic racism and oppression, and I believe in the potential of everyone,” Mr Brown said in a statement, according to the foundation’s webpage. “I cannot stand by silently while I see the lives and potential of my brothers and sisters be cut short due to systemic injustice. Our brothers need hope. Our brothers need positive role models. Our brothers need mentors.”

He went on to write opinion pieces for the Courier-Journal in 2020 before he disappeared for about two weeks last year, The Courier-Journal reported. He was found safe and his family requested privacy as they looked after his physical, mental and spiritual needs.

Mr Brown announced that he wanted to seek a seat on the Louisville Metro Council about five months after his disappearance.

At a news conference on Monday, Mr Brown was publicly identified by the police as the suspect in the case. Louisville police chief Erika Shields said Mr Greenberg was a deliberate target and Mr Brown acted alone.

The police have not determined the motive yet but said they were investigating with an open mind with the possibility of the shooting being politically or religiously motivated or the gunman suffering from “mental issues”.

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