Patterson arrested for Lynhaven homicide

Patterson arrested for Lynhaven homicide
The Alexandria Courthouse. (File Photo)

More than a week after Julian Dawkins succumbed to a gunshot wound, Alexandria police have charged Arlington sheriff’s deputy Craig Patterson, 44, with murder.

Officers arrested Patterson, a city resident, in Spotsylvania County Thursday evening.

He faces charges of first-degree murder and use of a firearm in a felony and is being held without bond, Alexandria General District Court Judge Becky Moore ruled at Patterson’s arraignment Friday morning.

Dawkins and Patterson allegedly got into an argument overnight May 22. Neighbors saw Dawkins, a graduate of T.C. Williams, exchange heated words with another individual shortly before the shooting. Commonwealth’s Attorney Randy Sengel — whose office is prosecuting the case — told the court Patterson left the scene, returning with his gun, badge and handcuffs.

At about 12:45 a.m., authorities descended upon the 100 block of Lynhaven Drive and found a grievously wounded Dawkins, who had been shot in the chest. He was taken to a nearby hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

Patterson told police he shot Dawkins in self defense and claimed the 22 year old had threatened him with a knife. But, investigators found the weapon folded and clipped to the inside of Dawkins’ pants pocket when he was taken to the emergency room.

Though friends and family quickly fingered Patterson as the shooter, officials did not name the off-duty lawman as the shooter until Thursday. Sengel said evidence received Wednesday night and Thursday morning led officers to file charges.

Still, Sengel encouraged members of the community to come to police with anything they may have seen or heard the night of the murder. And Alexandria Police Chief Earl Cook concurred and thanked the community for their help in the investigation.

“… when you get into this type of event there’s a lot of grief and anger, and we have to conduct our investigation as we normally would. … It’s hard to have patience … but we do need their help,” Cook said. “I mean very few crimes are solved without the help of the community.”

Patterson is being held in the Alexandria jail and will be represented by Joseph King. Patterson will return to court June 7 to determine the date of his preliminary trial.

The Arlington County Sheriff’s Department announced Patterson had been placed on unpaid administrative leave.

Check back later today for updates.