Mark Hughes, the Dallas man who was falsely labeled as the Dallas shooting suspect, told CBS Dallas that he has received “thousands” of death threats since authorities posted his image to Twitter on Thursday, July 7.
“Y’all have my faces on national news, are y’all gonna come out and say that this young man had nothing to do with it?” he asked of police in the interview. “We’ve been getting death threats. It was persecution on me, unrightly.”
The police have since identified 25-year-old Micah Johnson as the lone sniper in the incident. Johnson was killed by a bomb detonated by authorities around 2:30 a.m. Friday.
The tweet with Hughes’ likeness remained online for nearly all of Friday before finally being taken down.
Late Thursday evening, police tweeted a photo of Hughes with the words, “This is one of our suspects. Please help us find him!”
In the image, Hughes, a big proponent of the second amendment, is wearing a very noticeable camouflage T-shirt while carrying a rifle slung across his chest.
“We received a phone call that my face was there on a suspect and I immediately flagged down a police officer,” he told CBS Dallas. He added that it was a shock for him to learn that he was being treated as a suspect because he had been “talking to police, laughing and joking with police officers,” earlier in the day.
A subsequent tweet by the Dallas police department read: “The person of interest whose picture has been circulated just turned himself in.”
Hughes said he was held for approximately 30 minutes, questioned, and then released.
He later told Dallas TV station KTVT that during the investigation, officers told him they had a video of him shooting and that eyewitnesses had claimed to see him shooting his gun. Hughes called both statements “lies.”
“At the end of the day, the system was trying to get me,” he said.
In 2013, a similar incident took place when a Brown University student, Sunil Tripathi, was wrongly identified as a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing. Tripathi, who had already been missing for weeks, was found dead in the Providence River shortly after the bombings.
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