TAMPA, Fla. — Eric Patterson, a former Plant High School football player and NFL star, was shot and killed in his Tampa home early Saturday, according to authorities.
- Eric Patterson was a father of two young girls
- Tampa police say shooting does not appear to be random
- Local, professional football coaches, players remember Patterson
The shooting happened at Patterson's home in the 500 block of West Plaza Place.
The Tampa Police Department stated the shooting does not appear to be random, however no other details about a suspect have been released.
Patterson was 26 and a father of two young daughters and a loved local football player.
Plant High School is on summer break, but there is even more silence as a past student and athlete that excelled on the football field is gone forever.
Patterson went on to play at Ball State University and after college, Patterson played for the NFL in games for the St. Louis Rams and also played with the Indianapolis Colts.
Those that knew Patterson have been posted on social media throughout the weekend.
Plant High School football coach Robert Weiner tweeted that it was a heartbreaking time.
Sad, heartbreaking time for our Plant Panthers Football Family. Eric Patterson will always be a loved Panther. We mourn his passing. Our prayers embrace his family. EP you will never be forgotten. Much love to all our guys. Cherish every moment we have w/ each other #AlwaysALink pic.twitter.com/zoygMJgGpy— Robert Weiner (@plantfball) June 9, 2019
Tony Dungy, a retired NFL coach, tweeted that his son was distraught over the news of Patterson's death.
Eric Patterson played at Plant HS with our son Eric. We have heard the story that he was killed but there is no official confirmation and nothing being reported on our news here. Our son is distraught but we cannot find any information either. https://t.co/G1LltMP6ke— Tony Dungy (@TonyDungy) June 9, 2019
And Todd Gurley, running back for the Rams, simply expressed this message.
The Patterson family this weekend said they want answers and called the shooter a coward and they want him caught.