Father of SE Portland crime spree suspect blames drugs or 'menta - KPTV - FOX 12

Father of SE Portland crime spree suspect blames drugs or 'mental breakdown'

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Vesther "JJ" Brown in court Tuesday. (KPTV) Vesther "JJ" Brown in court Tuesday. (KPTV)
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

The young man arrested in Sunday’s violent crime spree in Southeast Portland faced a judge Tuesday while his father spoke out on his behalf. 

Vesther “JJ” Brown, 20, is charged with attempted aggravated murder and assault. He didn’t say a word in court and seemed confused at times, but no one is more confused than his father.
 
“I don’t want them to prosecute my son just like he’s a criminal. He’s not,” said Vesther Brown Sr. “He would never hurt his siblings in his right mind.”
 
At 1:00 p.m. Sunday, police responded to a call of a man being stabbed on Southeast 165th and Division. Then, neighbors heard gunshots at Brown’s apartment on Southeast Sherman Street.

His father told FOX 12 that Brown fired at his sister, grazing her chest, and then he shot his 8-year-old brother in the back.
               
“When he shot my son here, my son told him, 'brother, you shot me! Get me to the hospital,'" Brown Sr. said. "JJ took him and put him in my truck and drove him to the hospital. He was on the way taking him in. So he was going in and out sporadically out of his mind.”

Police said Brown then crashed into several cars on Division Street. Officers found his brother with a gunshot wound and seven other injured people.
 
Brown’s relatives said he was an “A” student, a stellar athlete and he has no criminal history.

They say what happened just doesn’t make sense.        

"I have reason to believe he’s heavily on drugs, someone got him on drugs or he had a mental breakdown,” said Brown Sr.. "But I do know that he wasn’t JJ. It’s a tragedy and it’s really sad. My heart bleeds for it. Those are my kids.”
 
People hurt in the car crash suffered minor injuries. Brown’s younger brother is at Oregon Health & Science University after having two surgeries, but he is expected to make a full recovery.

Brown will remain in jail until his next court appearance on Aug. 30.

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