A man holding a gun who was identified as a suspect in the Dallas police shootings is “innocent” says his brother.
The Dallas Police Department tweeted a picture of Mark Hughes, dressed in a distinctive camouflage t-shirt, with the words: “This is one of our suspects. Please help us find him!” Hughes later handed himself in.
Five police officers were killed and more injured after ‘sniper-style’ attacks at the protest on Thursday night, with one suspect claiming there were bombs “all over” the city.
Twitter users shared the picture of Hughes online with some saying “Dallas, this is our suspect”, as police engaged in a gun battle one suspect and searched for more.
But Hughes, who was pictured carrying a gun at the Black Lives Matter protest, was not one of the shooters and his gun was unloaded, his brother told CBS News.
Hughes can be seen in this video of the aftermath of the attacks, “not shooting” according to one person on Twitter.
Another Twitter user shared a video of Hughes at the scene and asked: “Wait a minute! How is he the shooter and he’s in the video!”
Cory Hughes claimed he was “100 percent sure” his brother was not the shooter, and said Mark was carrying a weapon to “exercise his Second Amendment rights to bear arms.”
“My brother was marching with us. Because he’s my brother and I understood the severity of the situation, I told my brother, ‘Give that gun away,”’ Cory Hughes told the broadcaster.
“He never thought that by exercising his right, he’d be plastered over the national media as a suspect.”
Hughes handed himself into police and surrendered his gun, and was then released after questioning, the IB Times reported.
Cory told CBS he had been receiving death threats on Facebook since defending his brother on TV.
Some critics condemned media outlets for so quickly labelling Hughes as a suspect, saying they should make clear they had incorrectly branded him a “cop killer”.