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Brawl & Shooting of UM Player

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Brawl & Shooting of UM Player

Police: Pata Killing Could Be Connected To Brawl
Detectives Say Fight, Brawl, Shooting May Be Connected

POSTED: 6:21 pm EST November 29, 2006
UPDATED: 9:52 am EST November 30, 2006

MIAMI – Homicide investigators said a nightclub fight is connected to a football field brawl between the University of Miami and Florida International University – and now they are trying to determine if that brawl could be connected to the shooting death of a UM player.

UM football player Bryan Pata was gunned down outside his Kendall apartment on Nov. 7. His death was just a few weeks after he was involved in a violent brawl on the football field that led to the suspensions of 31 players.

Shortly before the brawl, there was a fight at Club Life involving some players. And in June or July, police said that Pata and some of his teammates were also involved in a fight at Club Life, on Northeast 11th Street in Miami.

Club owner Shawn Shahnazi said that Pata was one of the least involved in the fight at the club and he didn't think it had anything to do with him being killed. But police are continuing to look into any possible connection.

The university is downplaying any possible connection.

Paul Dee, UM athletic director, said Wednesday, "There was an incident that occurred on campus but that's all been handled by the dean of students office and I don't think that it led to anything. I think they were independent events."

Local 10's Rad Berky said Wednesday that police investigators like to "connect the dots," and they have connected the Club Life fight to the football field brawl. But they said they have not yet connected the brawl to the shooting.

Miami police have said nothing official for the record regarding the investigation.

Berky also made note of the fact that UM has not made any contribution to the reward in connection with Pata's death. The amount remains still at $1,000.

Anyone with information is asked to call Miami-Dade Crimestoppers, anonymously, at 305-471-TIPS.
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