On Thursday (August 19), Florida police arrested the teammate of University of Miami football star defensive lineman Bryan Pata, who was shot and killed in November 2006.
According to NBC News, 35-year-old Rashaun Jones, a former Hurricanes defensive back, was arrested and booked on suspicion of Pata’s killing 15 years ago.
Jones was picked up by U.S. marshals, Miami Dade police said.
"I can only hope that this brings the Pata family a little bit of closure, a little bit of satisfaction, knowing that at least the person who took Bryan's life is now in custody," Police Detective Juan Segovia said in a videotaped message, according to NBC. "I want to thank the Pata family... because it's been 15 years of waiting, 15 years of missing Bryan, 15 years of waiting for results."
Pata was shot outside his apartment in Kendall, Fla. Jones had previously told investigators he was home when Pata was killed, according to a police affidavit and arrest warrant.
A tower, however, pinged Jones’ cellphone about 2.2 miles from Pata’s building at 6:41 p.m., court documents say.
A witness, who heard a “pop” noise outside Pata’s apartment, reportedly got a “clear and unobstructed view of the suspect’s face. That witness then picked out Jones from a photo lineup on June 24, 2007, and again in September 2020, the affidavit said.
Pata reportedly "had ongoing issues with" Jones prior to the murder. "It was learned that the victim had previously beaten the subject during an altercation," the affidavit said.
"For us, we always say it's not a sprint, it's a marathon. For us, it's about getting it right," Segovia said. "The community never stopped contacting us. And even if we got a thousand tips but only one of them was the one that actually put the pieces together, that's what it took, and that's exactly what happened in this case."
It isn’t immediately clear whether a court date had been scheduled.
(Jared Lazarus/Miami Herald via AP, File)