An altercation between an off-duty Arlington County Sheriff's deputy and a man in Alexandria Wednesday morning left a 22-year-old man shot to death, police say.
The incident happened shortly after 12:45 Wednesday morning in the 100 block of Lynhaven Drive in Alexandria. Police say their investigation shows that both the victim and the deputy were on foot at the time.
The deputy is identified as Craig Patterson, a 17-year veteran of the Arlington County Sheriff's office. The victim is identified as Julian Dawkins.
He was back in the neighborhood Tuesday night celebrating with family at his aunt's house. His cousin, Tierra Ruffin Pratt, was just signed to a contract by the Washington Mystics.
Dawkins, a graduate T.C. Williams High School, had been working as a shuttle driver for the PBS Newshour in Shirlington since 2010.
He had been staying with his aunt but spending most of his time with his girlfriend in D.C., Tanea Bynum.
"I'm numb. I don't know how to go on," Bynum says. "That was my life."
Gwen Pratt Miller, Dawkins mother, had just attended the funeral of her father a few days ago.
"He was all I had. He was my only child and I'm just trying to figure out a way that god will get me through this," she says.
Police say that their preliminary investigation doesn't reveal that there is any tie between the victim and Patterson.
Family and neighbors say Dawkins was on his phone when the gunfire rang out.
Kim Bragg, a friend of Dawkins' family, says Dawkins is like another son. She says she was person on the other end of the line when the shots were fired.
"I just heard a gunshot and I didn't think he was hurt, so I was still on the phone," she said. "I was on the phone calling his name and he wasn't responding."
Dawkins' aunt says he left the home at 9, nearly four hours before the shooting.
"I wake up and get a knock on the door and see my nephew lying face down in the grass," she says. "It's just unreal."