Former Hurricanes football player arrested in 2006 fatal shooting of teammate

Miami Football Player Killed
Posted at 12:59 PM, Aug 20, 2021

Authorities in Florida arrested former University of Miami football player Rashaun Jones in connection to the 2006 fatal shooting of his teammate Bryan Pata.

According to a U.S. Marshals Service press release, Jones, 35, was arrested on Thursday in Ocala on a homicide warrant obtained by the Miami-Dade police on Tuesday.

The press release said that Pata, 22, was shot and killed on the night of Nov. 7, 2006, outside his Kendall, Florida, apartment, after arriving home from football practice.

The Associated Press reported that Pata was expected to be an early pick in the 2007 NFL Draft.

The AP and ESPN reported that Pata had long been suspected of the shooting, with witnesses stating Jones and Pata had argued several times before the shooting.

According to officials, witnesses said Pata had beaten Jones during a physical altercation.

Pata's brother told investigators that Jones had threatened to shoot Pata two months before the killing.

Detectives interviewed Jones twice after the shooting, who stated that he was home and never left the night of Pata's death, but investigators found that Jones' cellphone pinged on cell towers near Pata's apartment the night of the shooting.

ESPN reported that an eyewitness in the shooting area picked Jones out of a photo lineup in 2007 and 2020.

According to ESPN, Jones' arrest comes a week on what would have been Pata's 37th birthday.

Jones is currently being held in Marion County, awaiting extradition to Miami-Dade.