Crime

Former NFL player shot dead in Tampa. He played in high school with Tony Dungy’s son

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Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.
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Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.

A former Plant High School and NFL player was shot dead inside his home early Saturday, according to reports.

Eric Patterson was 26 and the father of two young girls.

Spectrum Bay News 9 is reporting that the Tampa Police Department do not believe it was a random shooting, however no other details were immediately available.

After graduation, Patterson went onto play college football at Ball State and eventually played for both the St. Louis Rams and Indianapolis Colts after initially being drafted by the New England Patriots.

His former high school coach Robert Weiner tweeted out Sunday, “Sad, heartbreaking time for Plant Panthers Football Family. Erick Patterson will always be a loved Panther. We mourn his passing. Our prayers embrace his family. EP you will never be forgotten.”

Rams star running back Todd Gurley II also tweeted, “RIP EP.”

The Patterson family this weekend is seeking answers and called whoever the shooter is, “a coward.”

According to profootballtalk.com, Patterson’s roommate heard the commotion and came in to find Patterson lying on his back and appeared to have been shot.

A police report states the roommate saw the unknown suspect in the residence and the suspect fled the scene. Tampa police officers arrived first and began lifesaving measures, but Patterson later died at a local hospital.

Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Colts head coach Tony Dungy tweeted out that Patterson played football with his son at Plant High School. Dungy said he heard of what happened and, “Our son is distraught.”

The investigation is ongoing.

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