The 48-year-old was named locally as the man who died after being tasered by police
Officers raced to the scene after reports people were concerned for the safety of a person in Telford.
Tributes have poured in for the striker, who spent four seasons at Villa Park between 1991 and 1995.
And boss Atkinson, who was his manager in the west Midlands, has expressed his sorrow.
“This is an out-and-out tragedy,” he told the Birmingham Mail.
“He was a really popular player with team-mates. He was a really generous lad – sometimes too generous for his own good – but a good lad.
“He always had a smile on his face and I really like that in a player.
“He also had terrific ability. I always knew I didn’t need to worry about him in big games.”
A number of his ex-clubs have also send their condolences on social media.