Former NFL Player Junior Seau Dead in Suicide

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LOS ANGELES (CNN) — Former NFL linebacker Junior Seau died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound Wednesday, according to police. He was 43.

A handgun was found near his body in a bedroom of his Oceanside, California, home by officers responding to an emergency call from a woman who said she was Seau’s girlfriend, Oceanside Police Chief Frank McCoy said.

She told police she returned to the home at about 9:30 a.m. and found Seau “unconscious, suffering from a gunshot wound to the chest,” McCoy said.

Seau, who suffered a gunshot wound to his chest, could not be revived by paramedics, Chief McCoy said.

“This case, at this point, is being investigated as a suicide,” McCoy said.

Seau’s grieving mother cried loudly as she spoke to reporters gathers outside of the home just two hours after police were called there.

“I pray to God ‘Take me, take me, leave my son,’ but it’s too late,” she said.

“My brother was a loving brother, caring citizen,” his sister, Annette Seau, said as she asked the journalist to respect the family’s privacy. “I know you guys will overblow this.”

Seau was charged with domestic violence against his 25-year-old live-in girlfriend in October 2010 after police were called to his home.

Hours after that arrest, he drove his car off the cliff and landed on the beach in Carlsbad, California. Police later concluded it was an accident caused by lack of sleep.

Seau was drafted into the NFL in the first round in 1990 out of the University of Southern California. He debuted with the San Diego Chargers, establishing his Hall of Fame potential as a Pro Bowl staple.

He left San Diego before the 2003 season to join the Miami Dolphins and spent parts of the last four seasons with the New England Patriots before retiring in January. Seau amassed 1,526 tackles, 56.5 sacks and 18 interceptions in his 20-season career.

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