Former Plant High Football Star Eric Patterson Killed in Shooting

By Wire Service Content

TAMPA, Fla. (WFTS)—Detectives are investigating a deadly shooting early Saturday morning in the Riverside Heights neighborhood.

The man who died is Eric Patterson.

The 26-year-old starred at Plant High School in Tampa before playing at Ball State University and the Indianapolis Colts and St. Louis Rams.

Eric Patterson #41 of the Indianapolis Colts
Eric Patterson #41 of the Indianapolis Colts and Jake Kumerow #84 of the Cincinnati Bengals fight for the pass at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind., on Sept. 3, 2015. (Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

Officers say around 5 a.m., Patterson’s roommate was woken up by a commotion at a house in the 500 block of West Plaza Place. The roommate went to the living area and found an unknown person in the house and Patterson on the ground.

According to police, the unknown person ran from the home.

Patterson was laying on his back and appeared to have been shot. Police arrived and started life saving measures, but he died at an area hospital.

Officers say the shooting does not appear to be random.

Robert Weiner, Patterson’s former coach at Plant High School, and former Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Tony Dungy tweeted out some thoughts after learning of Patterson’s death.

Accidental Shootings

Far fewer Americans fall victim to firearm accidents than some two decades ago, even though people own more guns, according to new data.

Accidental firearm discharges killed 486 people in 2017, down more than 50 percent since 1997, according to mortality data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Decreased popularity of hunting, improved trauma care, and gun safety education campaigns have likely helped decreased the fatalities.

NTD staff contributed to this report.

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