Eric Patterson, a former Plant High football player, killed by an intruder in his home in Tampa



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TAMPA – Eric Patterson, a former football player at Plant High School, was shot dead Saturday by an intruder at his home.

The Tampa Police Department has not unveiled Patterson's name, but relatives of the 26-year-old former corner midfielder have confirmed that Patterson was the victim of the case.

The shootings took place shortly after 5 pm at Patterson's home at 500 block of W Plaza Street, police said. Patterson's roommate, whose name was not disclosed, was woken up by a commotion and went to a place in the house to find an unknown suspect and Patterson lying on his back. the police said. He had apparently been shot.

The suspect fled the house. Police arrived and took steps to save lives until the paramedics arrived. She then took Patterson to a local hospital where he died.

Police said the shots did not seem to be random. No other details have been published.

"My mother always fixes all our problems for us, but this one can not be solved," wrote Patterson's sister, Devona Sanders of Tampa, in a message posted on Facebook on Sunday. "I just want to wake up and it will be a dream …"

After graduating from Plant, Patterson played soccer at Ball State University, in Indiana, and then made a brief stint in the NFL. In 2015, it was signed and published by the New England Patriots, then by the Colts of Indianapolis. He made his Colts debut in the second week of the season. The team gave up participating later that year.

Patterson signed with the Cleveland Browns in May 2016 and was released in September.

Plant High School football coach Robert Weiner, who coached Patterson in 2009 and 2010, said Patterson was an exceptional player and appreciated by other members of his team. Patterson was transferred to Plant and immediately integrated, helping the team reach the national championship, Weiner said.

"He had a very sociable personality, he was very affable and always smiling, always laughing," said Weiner.

Weiner said former Patterson teammates were "torn apart and devastated".

"The last two days have been sad, when you lose a person who you think has been in your family for a long time," he said.

Contact Tony Marrero at [email protected] or (813) 226-3374. Follow @tmarrerotimes.

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