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Friends remember Lynchburg murder victim as questions arise about the crime scene

Brian Patterson was killed Saturday night at the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge, a facility that neighbors say has been hosting violent parties

February 21, 2011|Tim Saunders | Reporter/Lynchburg Bureau Chief

LYNCHBURG, Va. — It's usually a gathering place for police in Lynchburg, but now it's a crime scene.

Over the weekend, a man was killed at the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge on Wiggington Road in Lynchburg.

"This is basically a quiet neighborhood," says Wallace Mays, who lives next to the F.O.P. Lodge.  "Real nice people live here."

Mays says the lodge was a good neighbor until about one year ago, when the building became the equivalent of a night club some weekends.

"They'll be fighting or they'll be shooting the biggest majority of the time," says Mays, who claims he has called police to break up the parties more than once.

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"I've been here for four years and we've never had a problem up until this past year," says Mays.

The fighting culminated Saturday with the death of Brian Patterson.  The 21 year old was a basketball and football player at Heritage High School.

"We had a great deal of respect for him as a football player," said Doug Smith, who was one of Patterson's coaches at Heritage.  "He was one of our favorite guys.  We were looking forward to seeing him do great things."

Patterson went on to play football for a college in West Virginia.  Friends say school didn't work out.

"All of our kids here, we look forward for them to go on and be successful and that was our hope for Brian," said Smith.

Instead Patterson ended up back in Lynchburg, attending parties at the F.O.P. lodge.

Friends say he'd had an ongoing dispute with Gregory Kittrell, who's now charged with Patterson's murder.

Whatever caused that fight, neighbors on Wiggington Road say it never should have made it to the F.O.P., a facility that's mostly used for wedding parties and family gatherings.

Mays hopes the group that owns the building will use more discretion in the future.

"They kind of need to screen that thing or either stop renting it," says Mays.  "One of the two."

News 7 spoke with several members of the F.O.P. Monday.  They say the building is rented out like any other clubhouse, such as the Moose or Elks clubs.

No word on whether those rules will change in light of this weekend's events.

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