ALEXANDRIA, Va. (CBSDC) — UPDATE: Officials have ruled the shooting death of 22-year-old Julian Dawkins a homicide. Sheriff’s Deputy Craig Patterson is still on administrative leave.
Alexandria Police say it appears an altercation of some sort led to the deputy sheriff Craig Patterson fatally shooting the 22-year-old around 12:45 a.m. Wednesday in the 100 block of Lynnhaven Drive.
Dawkins is the cousin of Washington Mystics guard Tierra Ruffin-Pratt. He was among a group of people that had gone out earlier that evening to celebrate Ruffin-Pratt making the team, the family says.
Vincent Miller, Dawkins’ stepfather, says Patterson may have threatened his stepson earlier that evening following an altercation at a nearby park.
“He left and went and got a gun and came back,” said Miller. “And he might have had a car parked somewhere but when he came back he killed him.”
Contrary to police statements, a woman who claimed to be on the phone with the victim at the time he was shot says no altercation occurred in the immediate moments before the gunfire.
“I would have heard if any confrontation (occurred) or anything,” Kim Bragg said. “I was still on the phone with him. I was waiting for him to say something and then I heard this gunshot … Pow.”
Bragg says Dawkins was best friends with her son and was on coming to visit when the shooting occurred.
Dawkins was transported to the hospital where he was later pronounced dead, police say.
Both men lived in the neighborhood where the shooting occurred.
“We’re still trying to piece together what the facts were,” said Deputy Chief Cleveland Spruill.
Police say they are interviewing Patterson who has been placed on routine leave.
The investigation is ongoing.