San Jose police officer, former San Jose City College student found dead

Rest in peace, Dejon Packer 1997-2022


Photo courtesy of the police department

De’Jon Packer(1997-2022).

A former SJCC student athlete was found dead in his home on March 14, police said. No official cause of death has been released.

Dejon Packer, 24, attended San Jose City College from 2015 to 2016 and San Jose State University from 2017 to 2019. He was also a football player and a police officer.

Many people were devastated when they heard the news, especially the people who knew him and the staff members at SJCC.

“Dejon was the type of guy that would do everything right all the time both off and on the field,” former SJCC head coach Carlton Connor said. “He was a good kid and was a good player and a team leader. That’s why he would alway address the team and A star on the field.”

Conner said Packer had a great sense of humor and was one of the best football players.

“He was really soft spoken and was one of those guys that you really would not know he was there because he was such a quiet person,” Conner said.

The equipment manager for the sports team at the college Dwyane said Packer was one of the best student athletes he interacted with.

“He was such a good person to be around, such a hard worker both on and off the field, but his personality was fun and friendly,” Dwyane said. “He was a person who didn’t say a lot. He was soft spoken, but he was always a part of the groups and the atmosphere around.”

Dwyane said Packer was a good guy for the community, and he was a good role model.

Packer always talked about being a nurse, Dwayne said. He switched to joining the police academy because a police officer gave the San Jose State football team a career lesson about the police academy. That motivated him to join and become a police officer instead of a nurse.

“He knew where he fit and where he felt comfortable in his career,” Dwyane said.

Athletic Director Lamel Harris said Packer was an amazing person and student athlete who cared about this school and the community.

“Dejon was a determined person. He was a good student and always had good grades,” Harris said. “I felt that he could do whatever he wanted to do in life. He was a standout athlete, and he was a little bit above everyone on the football field. He was a complete person overall.”

Harris said Packer was representing the college well, and this is why his pictures are all around the campus and on buses.

“I remember him playing on the field and running all over the place and laying people down and hitting people everywhere and being a physical person in every single play, and he loved the contact and was one of a kind athlete,” Harris said.

Harris was surprised that Packer didn’t pursue becoming a nurse.

“He was all about helping people and those two jobs (health care and law enforcement) are in the helping fields,” Harris said.

Packer was a leader in the classroom and on the field, Harris said, adding that he was leading by example and his actions showed what kind of person he was.

“He also represented what San Jose City is all about by getting his education and betting on himself by walking on to San Jose State and earning that full-ride scholarship with his hard work,” Harris said.

Harris said he and the community have been affected so much by his death.

“How could someone so young with so much life ahead of him and so much to give be taken away so soon,” Harris said.

Harris stressed that he had never heard anything bad about him. Harris referred to Packer as an impactful person around the community of San Jose and “especially to the people he cared about and who he played with.”
“Being a local kid from Gunderson High School and going to SJCC and then going to San Jose State and earning a full ride from athletics is an inspiring story for many student athletes and many young kids in the community knowing that anything is possible with dedication and hard work,” Harris said.

The college plans to do a memorial for him, Harris said. Also, a scholarship under the name of Dejon Packer in memory of his hard work will be created.


4/17/22 Editor’s note: This article was edited to state that no official cause of death for Mr. Packer has been released by the coroner. The original version indicated that Mr. Packer died from stab wounds. The Times regrets this error.