A former Ball State cornerback who had a brief NFL career was shot and killed in Florida, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

The newspaper reported that Eric Patterson, 26, died early Saturday morning following a shooting in a home in his native Tampa.

According to the report, Patterson's roommate was awakened by a noise and when he got out of bed to check the source, he found his roommate on the floor and someone else leaving the home.

Police told the Times the shooting didn't appear random, but a motive had not been established.

His coach at Ball State, Mike Neu, tweeted the news.

"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"

Patterson played 41 games for the Cardinals from 2011-14, making 189 tackles and intercepting six passes. In his senior season, he also returned kicks and made the 2014 All-Mid-American Conference first team as a kick returner, averaging 25.7 yards per return.

Unselected in the 2015 NFL Draft, he signed with New England and was released a month later. The Colts picked him up, and he appeared in two games in September 2015 before his release. He played in one game later that season with the St. Louis Rams, then was in camp with the Cleveland Browns before the 2016 season.

--Field Level Media

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