Patterson family prepares funeral while killer remains at large

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Eric Patterson Sr. is preparing for a funeral. On Saturday, his 26-year-old son, Eric Jr. will be buried. 

"You don't ever want to bury your child before you get buried," he told FOX 13 News.

Two weeks ago, the former Plant High football player, who also played in the NFL, was found by a roommate after he was shot to death at their home on Plaza Place. The suspect is still out there.

"I just want that person, whoever did it, just to come forward," Patterson said.

The roommate said the killer left in a white SUV. Wednesday, the Tampa Police Department released surveillance video taken near the scene shortly after Patterson was killed, around 5 a.m.

"We think we are making progress," said TPD spokesman Steve Hegarty. "We do not have probable cause, we have not made an arrest. We are trying to do everything we can. We are appealing to the public."

Detectives are still determining an exact make and model, and they did not get a tag. They do believe the car was waiting for the suspect, and that it was driven by someone else. 

They also released video of a darker car they're interested in, though it is not yet considered a suspect car.

"We would like to know something about that other vehicle in the same area, coming from the same direction," said Hegarty.

The Patterson family, who three years ago lost a niece, Latoya Smith to gun violence, is getting ready for another farewell. The only thing worse than burying a son is doing so while the killer is still out there.

"We just need to get this person off the street whoever it is," said Patterson. "He might take somebody else's life."

Calling hours are scheduled for Friday, June 21 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Center for Manifestation at 3102 E Lake Ave. The funeral service is scheduled for Saturday, June 22 at 11 a.m., also at the Center for Manifestation.