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Julian Dawkins, PBS Shuttle Driver, Killed By Off-Duty Arlington Sheriff's Deputy In Alexandria

12:01 PM, May 23, 2013   |    comments
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ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WUSA9) -- Family, friends and neighbors have many unanswered questions about the shooting death of 22-year-old Julian Dawkins, who was killed Wednesday in his Alexandria neighborhood. He was shot by an off-duty Arlington sheriff's deputy, say authorities.

Alexandria Commonwealth's Attorney Randy Sengel is meeting with detectives to see if charges should be filed against the deputy. When Sengel was asked why the sheriff's deputy was not being held in jail, Sengel replied that it is not uncommon for him to still be free. According to Sengel, the deputy is not a flight risk nor does he appear to be a danger to society.

Dawkins' death marks the city's third fatal shooting of the year. The cause and manner of his death are pending autopsy results from the medical examiner's office, say police.

Jody Donaldson, spokesman for the Alexandria Police Department, said officers responded to a report of a shooting around 12:45 Wednesday morning in the 100 block of Lynhaven Drive. Once police arrived at the scene they found a 22-year-old Dawkins suffering from a gunshot wound to the upper body. Dawkins was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Alexandria police questioned Arlington County Sheriff's Deputy Craig Patterson, 44, who lives in Alexandria and who they believe is the shooter. They say he is a 17-year veteran.

Deputy Patterson was placed on paid administrative leave pending the investigation. So far, no charges have been placed.

Police say they don't have a motive or a connection between the two but several neighbors have told us they believe the two got into an argument following a game of dice.

Julian Dawkins was on the phone with Kim Bragg, one of his best friends' mother. She tells us there was no arguing before the shooting. There was just silence and then a gunshot.

"Somebody needs to find out what happened to this baby because a mother has lost her only child. This is her only baby. She has no more kids. That's her only child. He's her only boy child. I can't put myself in that place.

He's a good kid. He worked hard. He worked every day. He's not out here doing anything wrong. He's a good, respectable kid," said Bragg.

Julian Dawkins turned 22 years old on Mother's Day.

The PBS NewsHour and MacNeil/Lehrer Productions confirmed on Wednesday afternoon that Dawkins was their shuttle driver. Officials say he had worked for the NewsHour since June 2010. 

"Julian was a hard-worker and very dedicated to the NewsHour," said Linda Winslow, Executive Producer, in a statement on Wednesday. "We are deeply saddened by the news of Julian's death and our condolences, thoughts and prayers are with his family."

His colleagues describe him as a hard worker who was very dedicated to the show.

Thursday, we went back to the scene shortly after 4:30 a.m. and saw about half a dozen of Dawkins' friends. They say they want justice for Julian and said "we want to spend the night with our best friend." They paid tribute to their friend and held vigil outside this makeshift memorial. They put a basketball jersey he had during his middle school years when he was playing basketball and then here's a picture that they took Wednesday with his mother and stepfather.

We are told Julian Dawkins was one side of the fence and the deputy was on the opposite side when shots were fired. The investigation is ongoing.  Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the Criminal Investigations Section of the Alexandria Police Department at 703-746-6711.

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