Ex-Colts, Ball State CB Eric Patterson Dies at Age 26 After Shooting in Florida

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJune 10, 2019

Ball State cornerback Eric Patterson (5) breaks up a pass intended for Arkansas State wide receiver Julian Jones (7) in the first quarter of the GoDaddy Bowl NCAA college football game, Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014, in Mobile, Ala. (AP Photo/G.M. Andrews)
G.M. Andrews/Associated Press

Former Indianapolis Colts, St. Louis Rams and Ball State Cardinals cornerback Eric Patterson died Saturday at the age of 26. 

Vic Ryckaert of the Indianapolis Star reported the news, citing the Tampa Bay Police Department who said Patterson was shot in the early morning hours on Saturday in his Tampa home. According to the police report, Patterson's roommate responded to loud sounds in the house and saw an unknown suspect fleeing with Patterson on his back in the living room area. He was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Ball State head coach Mike Neu and Patterson's high school coach, Robert Weiner, were among those who reacted on Twitter:

Coach Mike Neu @BSUCoachNeu

We are mourning the passing of one of our own, Eric Patterson. We are extremely saddened by this, and we ask that you please keep Eric and his family in your prayers. Once a Cardinal, always a Cardinal. #EP https://t.co/MZkMnKxRiS

Robert Weiner @plantfball

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 https://t.co/zoygMJgGpy

Patterson played at Ball State from 2012 through 2014 and had six interceptions as a defensive back who also returned kicks. He helped lead the Cardinals to back-to-back bowl games in the 2012 and 2013 campaigns.

He then played for the Colts and Rams in 2015 and appeared in three regular-season NFL games.