Rashaun Jones paid tribute to Bryan Pata with their University of Miami teammates after 'shooting him dead'

A FORMER University of Miami football star was pictured paying tribute to the the teammate he is now accused of shooting dead.

Rashaun Jones was seen kneeling by a mural of Bryan Pata following his murder in 2006.


Police arrested Jones on Thursday on a first-degree murder charge. It is not clear what led to the arrest.

Defensive lineman Pata was killed execution style in 2006 after he was shot in the back of the head.

He was killed in the parking lot of his apartment complex a couple of hours after football practice. 

Pata was expected to be an early pick in the 2007 NFL draft following his fourth and final season with the Hurricanes.

He was buried in the suit that he was planning to wear to the NFL draft. 

Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said on Thursday: "The Pata family has waited a long time to see the individual they had believed involved in Brian's death arrested and charged."

The killing did not appear to be a robbery, since the killer didn’t take the cash Pata had in his pocket or the Infiniti SUV with the personalized plates that he was driving.

Jones had once dated Pata’s girlfriend Jada Brody and the two had fought prior to the shooting, The Miami Herald reports.

On the day of the shooting Jones is said to have changed his phone number, ESPN reports.

He is also said to have asked another student “to borrow money to go out of town.”

GROWING FEUD

Some witnesses claimed to hear arguing then gunshots with detectives investigating a host of people, including Pata’s Jada and her twin brother.

Investigators then learned that Jones had been involved with Brody.

This led to a feud between Jones and Pata – who played three seasons with the Miami Hurricanes – for several months.

The two had reportedly experienced confrontations before the shooting, with 6'4" Pata – who was considerably larger than Mr. Jones – previously beating him in a fight.

Pata’s brother told investigators that Jones had threatened to shoot Pata two months before his death.

Despite urging from his brother, Pata never reported the threat.

'SHOCKED AND HEARTBROKEN'

Prior to this arrest Jones told the outlet: "I know I ain’t had nothing to do with it."

It as Brody who discovered Pata dead, calling 911.

Following Jones' arrest former Hurricanes coach Larry Coker told ESPN: "It's really a surprise.

"I''m just glad things are moving forward and that things are getting solved."

Former Miami teammate Chris Zellner said he was "happy" there had been an arrest but "sad" it was "someone from our team."

Another player, Kyle Wright, said he was "shocked and heartbroken."

'CLOSURE'

Detective Juan Segovia said on Thursday: "The community never stopped contacting us.

"Even if we got a thousand tips and only one was the one that actually put the pieces together, that's what it took, and that's exactly what happened in this case.

"I can only hope that this brings the Pata family a little bit of closure and a little bit of satisfaction."


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