Alexandria man's death ruled homicide; Arlington County Sheriff' - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Alexandria man's death ruled homicide; Arlington County Sheriff's Deputy placed on administrative leave

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Julian Dawkins Julian Dawkins
Julian Dawkins Julian Dawkins
A makeshift memorial for Julian Dawkins (Photo: John Henrehan / @JohnHFox5DC) A makeshift memorial for Julian Dawkins (Photo: John Henrehan / @JohnHFox5DC)

The death of a 22-year-old Alexandria man has now been ruled a homicide. The Arlington County Sheriff's Deputy involved in the case has been put on administrative leave, had his police powers revoked and has turned in his badge. He remains free after being questioned by Alexandria police.

No charges have been preferred in the case, which involved Deputy Craig Patterson, a 17-year veteran of the Arlington County Sheriff's Office. A spokeswoman for that department said Patterson worked in the jail with a generally blemish-free record.

The victim, 22-year-old Julian Dawkins, is described by friends and colleagues as likable and averse to arguments. For the past three years, Dawkins had been a driver from the PBS NewsHour program, shuttling tapes, guests and paperwork among various PBS work centers.

"He was very well liked," said Newshour spokeswoman Anne Bell, "And, almost to a person, people remember him as kind, quiet, and quick with a smile."

The shooting happened early Tuesday morning in the Lynhaven neighborhood of Alexandria, where Dawkins was attending a family celebration. Deputy Patterson lives in the same neighborhood, only a few blocks from the scene of the shooting.

Alexandria Police say there was some kind of confrontation between Dawkins and the off-duty sheriff's deputy before the shot was fired. Ieshia Elam, a childhood friend of Julian Dawkins, stopped by a makeshift shrine for the young man on Friday afternoon to leave a message. She said Julian would go out of his way to avoid arguments.

"What he would say (so he wouldn't argue): 'You right, I'm wrong. You right, I'm wrong,’" recalled Elam. "And it wasn't even arguing, like we could just be having a debate, and [he'd say] 'You right, I'm wrong. You right, I'm wrong.' He was just so nice."

Alexandria police say the case remains under active investigation. The victim's mother, Gwen Miller, remains puzzled that the deputy involved in the shooting remains free. We asked Miller if she takes any comfort in the fact that her son's death is now considered a homicide.

Ms. Miller thought for a moment, then replied, "I mean, it's comforting, but I won't be all the way at peace until they arrest him and have him in custody."

Alexandria police say they are still interviewing witnesses who saw the interaction between the two men before the shooting.

Alexandria Commonwealth's Attorney Randy Sengal said it will probably be next week before a decision is made on whether charges will be placed in the case.

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