Former De Anza football player shot and killed

Taylor Bicht and Jacob Sisneros

A 23-year-old man named Phillip Watkins was shot and killed by San Jose police Wednesday evening Feb. 11, according to the San Jose Mercury News. Watkins played football for De Anza College in 2012.

“We were all shocked when we heard,” said Dan Atencio, head coach of De Anza football. “[Phillip] was the last person we expected this to happen to.”

Two officers from the department’s gang suppression unit responded to a 911 caller’s report of a man with a knife who had entered a stranger’s home in the 1300 block of Sherman Street around 5 p.m., San Jose police Sgt. Heather Randol told the Mercury News.

Watkins left the house between the time the call was made and the officers’ arrival.

The officers confronted Watkins outside the house, ordered him to drop the knife, but instead he charged the officers, Randol told the Mercury News.

Officers again ordered him to drop the knife and when Watkins failed to comply the officers shot at him, firing an unknown number of rounds, striking him at least once.

Watkins was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to the Mercury News.

Watkins was a standout football player at San Jose High School, where he graduated in 2010, then came to play football at De Anza in 2012 where he was a defensive back and running back.

“Phillip was a great teammate,” Atencio said. “He got along with the players and always did what was asked of him.”