Early Thursday morning, Clifford Dixon was shot and killed in Chamblee during his birthday party celebration. He was 32.
Dixon, a former athlete and father, was the “adopted brother” of NBA star Kevin Durant and the ex-boyfriend of reality star Erica Mena.
As news of his death spread, many took to social media to express their condolences, including rapper Fabolous.
“You was a good dude,” the artist wrote on Instagram. “Never saw 1 characteristic of you not being a stand up dude... & Never heard anyone speak bad of you so it’s crazy to me how your life would be cut short like this. We gonna Miss You dog.”
As the investigation into the circumstances of his death ensues, many are curious about Dixon’s life. We’ve gathered some important details to know about the slain 32-year-old.
He was born in Maryland.
He was born Clifford Lewis Dixon on March 17, 1987, in Suitland, Maryland.
Kevin Durant’s mother took him in at age 16.
When Dixon was a teenager, Kevin Durant’s mother, Wanda Pratt, allowed him to move into the family’s home, according to NewsOK.com. He was Durant’s “adopted brother” and close friend, according to Chamblee police.
When Durant played for the Oklahoma City Thunder, he received the NBA MVP award in 2014. During the last few minutes of his emotional acceptance speech, he thanked his family and friends, including Dixon.
“All my friends—Cliff, Charlie, Vernon, Tae, Randy, Ryan—you keep me sane every single day,” he said. “It’s days where I come home upset from a game or a practice, and you just brighten my day up. I thank you guys. Y’all mean the world to me. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for all you guys.”
He played basketball in college and overseas.
After graduating from Suitland High School in Maryland, Dixon attended Hutchinson Community College in Kansas. He later transferred to Western Kentucky University, where he played basketball for two seasons, according to ESPN.
In 2011, he was dismissed from the team for violating team rules. He reportedly refused to return to the team’s bench after not receiving playing time during the first half of a game, according to the College Heights Herald, the Western Kentucky University newspaper.
The 6’10 athlete went on to play overseas in Austria in 2014.
He dated a reality star from “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta.”
At the beginning of 2018, Dixon started dating “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta” cast member Erica Mena. They began their relationship after Dixon sent Mena a direct message on Instagram, the reality star revealed in an interview.
In October 2018, Dixon and Mena were arrested in Johns Creek after the cops were called regarding a domestic dispute. Dixon and Mena got into an argument, and, according to the police report, he allegedly knocked her bedroom door down. Dixon was arrested for criminal trespass. Mena was arrested for possession of pot.
In December, Mena got engaged to fellow reality star Safaree Samuels.
Dixon was killed during his birthday party celebration.
Dixon was found dead in the parking lot of SL Lounge on Buford Highway on March 21, 2019. He was hosting a birthday celebration at the bar, according to his last Instagram post.
He had just arrived and was standing in the parking lot when someone shot him multiple times, according to Chamblee police. He was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital, where he died of his injuries.
The gunman ran away from the scene, police said. An investigation is ongoing.
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