Packer was just 24.
San Jose police chief says the circumstances surrounding his death are under investigation by Milpitas Police.
In a statement, Chief Mata promised accountability, saying:
“Any allegation of illegal drug use by a San Jose Police Officer is concerning. There are no free passes for police Officers, and we will not make excuses.”
The video above is from a past report. Original story follows
A San Jose police officer was found dead in his home over the weekend in the South Bay. The officer is said to be 24-year-old former San Jose State football player DeJon Packer, a graduate of SJPD academy in 2021.
Milpitas police tell ABC7 News that Packer was off-duty when he was found dead in his home Sunday afternoon.
RELATED: San Jose man arrested in double stabbing that killed his father, injured mother, police say
“It’s a difficult day here at the police department today for a lot of us,” SJPD Sgt. Christian Camarillo said.
“Everybody is heartbroken for Pack, for his family and for our football family here because he had a tremendous impact on everyone he met,” SJSU Football head coach Brent Brennan said.
Packer was a local kid who made an impact on his community in many ways.
After a successful football career at Gunderson High School and San Jose City College, Packer came to the Spartan program.
Coach Brennan said he was a leader on and off the field.
“On the football field he was fantastic,” Brennan said. “He was a guy that walked on here from San Jose City College and earned a scholarship. He was always on the 3.0 wall. He did everything right all the time.”
San Jose State emphasizes life “beyond football” and Packer took the lessons to heart when deciding what he would do after graduating from SJSU.
He joined the San Jose Police Department where he graduated with the academy’s pandemic class in 2021.
“Being a police officer, serving the community spoke to him, which is not surprising,” Brennan said. “He was always volunteering for community outreach and was always engaged that way.”
“We have a lot of people here that are grieving yesterday, today and will be for some time,” Sgt. Camarillo said. “This officer was really well-liked.”
Our police family is devastated by the sudden loss of Officer DeJon Packer who passed away last night.
DeJon graduated the police academy just one year ago. He was beloved by the San Jose community and was a famous former SJSU football player. pic.twitter.com/qrTQZGkDoJ
— San José Police Media Relations (@SJPD_PIO) March 14, 2022
My heart breaks for the family and many friends of @SanJosePD officer DeJon Packer. DeJon graduated from Gunderson High School, played football for @SJSU, and after graduation, served his community as a police officer. (1/2) https://t.co/Afj7JPvCdE
— Sam Liccardo (@sliccardo) March 14, 2022
DeJon Packer was 24 years old, a life many close to him said was lost too soon.
“Being that young and the good that he was already putting out to the world, to not have that around here and in San Jose is a devastating loss for all of us,” Brennan said.
SJPD did make clear that despite reports on social media, there is no connection between the SJPD officer’s death and a double stabbing in San Jose over the weekend.
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