Family of Murdered UM Player Bryan Pata Speaks About Arrest of his Alleged Killer

The arrest came nearly 15 years after Pata was gunned down outside his Kendall apartment.

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In an exclusive interview with NBC 6, the family of murdered University of Miami football player Bryan Pata spoke out about the arrest of his alleged killer.

Rashaun Jones, who was a teammate with Pata from 2004 to 2006, was arrested Thursday in the Ocala area. He is charged with first degree murder and will be extradited to Miami-Dade County to stand trial.

The arrest came nearly 15 years after Pata was gunned down outside his Kendall apartment.

"People say closure, but I don't know if that's the right word to use because the pain never goes away. Bryan's never coming back, so it doesn't end," Edwin Pata, Byran's brother said. "This person that is in jail is going to be in jail and it's a continuing thing."

The 22-year-old Pata was walking from his car toward the stairs at an apartment building on Nov. 7, 2006 when he was shot in the back of the head at a complex located off Southwest 77th Avenue and 93rd Street.

Police said Pata and Jones had ongoing issues. 

"It's somewhat lifted off your shoulder that an arrest has been made, but everything else stays the same," Edwin Pata said.

For years, the family held on to hope knowing that the day would finally come that someone would be held accountable for Bryan's murder.

"The only positive that we got was that my mom did not want to die and know that there was not an arrest. That was it," Edwin Pata said. "The only thing you can't get back is someone's life."

Pata's mother is recovering from a stroke. The family said her health deteriorated after the death of her youngest son who was destined to play for the NFL.

Her voice was left impacted by the stroke - but not her heart and love for her son.

"Every night, every day, I missing my son. I miss him," Jeanette Pata said.

Even though there has been an arrest in Pata's death, the family said justice won't be complete until Pata's accused killer is found guilty.

"We want to make sure that this process is done, this guy is put away for good.  And I think that closure is not the right word, but it's another process, it's a step forward," Edwin Pata said.

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