Officials Rule Alexandria Man’s Death Homicide

The shooting death of a 22-year-old Alexandria man by an off-duty sheriff's deputy was classified as a homicide Thursday.

Julian Dawkins was shot just before 1 a.m. Wednesday on the corner of Lynnhaven Drive and Evans Lane in Alexandria.

Dawkins had just left his aunt's home, where he had been celebrating his cousin Tierra Ruffin-Pratt's signing to the Washington Mystics. As he walked away from the house, he got into an argument with off-duty Arlington County sheriff's deputy Craig Patterson.

After the confrontation, the two went their separate ways. Dawkins was walking back toward his aunt's house when Patterson shot him, authorities said.

Patterson, a 17-year veteran, called police after the shooting. He was placed on administrative leave following the shooting. No charges have been filed, pending an investigation.

Dawkins' mother, Gwen Dawkins, said her son had a knife on him, but it was folded and in his pocket. "I won't really be at peace until this fellow is arrested," she said.

Alexandria Mayor William D. Euille said there is no special treatment being made for Patterson. He said he's confident the investigation will be fair, but called the incident "very disturbing."

Dawkins' family met with police Thursday to discuss the circumstances surrounding the shooting.

"At this point in time, the detectives are doing their jobs and we are more than satisfied with the outcome of speaking with the detectives and we just need to let the professionals do their job," Julian's father, Curtis Dawkins, told News4.

Mayor Euille released the following statement Thursday: "The death of Julian Dawkins, who was shot and killed on May 21, has raised concerns throughout our community. I am confident that appropriate justice will prevail once all facts are known. Our Police Department is investigating this case and they are working with the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney using the standard procedure used for such cases in Alexandria. In the meantime, I urge the community to be patient, and allow the justice system to do its work."

Dawkins worked as a driver for PBS. The network's Gwen Ifill described him as "a shy, soft-spoken colleague with velvet eyes and elaborate dreadlocks."

She wrote that he "worked at the PBS NewsHour as a driver -- shuttling people, tapes and mail back and forth between our two office buildings with a bright smile for everyone."

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