He was released by Indianapolis that September, and after short stints with the Rams and Browns, Patterson faded out of the National Football League spotlight in 2016.
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.
According to police, the unknown person ran from the home. Paramedics transported Patterson to a local hospital where he was announced dead.
Tampa police said the shooting does not appear to be random. Police are still investigating the incident and will send out an updated media alert when additional information regarding the victim or the overall investigation becomes available.
Ball State football coach Mike Neu confirmed the news Monday morning, posting a tribute to Patterson on Twitter. "Eric Patterson will always be a loved Panther".
This story will be updated.
"It's been a sad couple days, when you lose someone who you feel very much has been a part of your family for a long time".
Among those mourning is the son of former Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Colts coach Tony Dungy, who tweeted his son Eric played with Patterson at Plant.
He also signed with the New England Patriots in 2015 and was cut before joining the Colts. "We are extremely saddened by this, and we ask that you please keep Eric and his family in your prayers".
He got playing time with the Colts after he signed with the team that August.
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