NewsHillsborough County


Family remembers former NFL player and Plant graduate killed in his home

Police said Eric Patterson was shot and killed
Posted at 11:24 PM, Jun 14, 2019

TAMPA, Fla. -- A Tampa father hopes to have answers soon after his son was shot and killed in Tampa.

Eric Patterson, a former NFL player and Plant High School football player, died at a local hospital on Saturday.

The 26-year-old was shot and killed inside his home on West Plaza Place in Tampa. Tampa Police said Patterson's roommate heard commotion and found him on the floor.

"I just don't understand it. It's just senseless that people would take another person's life. You just don't know how many people it impacts out here," said Eric Patterson, victim's father.

Family gathered outside a home in Tampa on Friday. They brought candles out and released balloons.

"You didn't have to kill him. What was the purpose? I don't know. Life is crazy," said Javonica Patterson, victim's sister.

Patterson leaves behind two daughters, a 6-year-old and 7-month old.

"You killed my brother, you took him away from my dad, his mom, his sisters and brothers, his children. Just come forward," said the victim's sister.

Patterson played varsity football at Plant High School. He went on to play football at Ball State University. He played for several teams in the NFL.

"I was just proud of him for getting that far. Most kids out here, don't get that far. I'm just so upset," said Patterson.

Tampa Police have not released a motive in the shooting, but said it does not appear random.