BOSTON (CBS) — Former NFL linebacker Junior Seau was found dead in his home in Oceanside, Calif., on Wednesday.
The death has officially been ruled a suicide.
Oceanside police chief Frank McCoy said that Seau’s girlfriend found him with a gunshot wound in his chest. A 911 call was placed around 10 a.m. local time.
Seau leaves behind three children.
“Everyone at the Chargers is in complete shock and disbelief right now,” the team said in a statement. “We ask everyone to stop what they’re doing and send their prayers to Junior and his family.”
Seau was in the news in 2010 for driving his car off a cliff after an alleged domestic dispute.
Seau, 43, spent 20 seasons in the NFL, most recently playing for the New England Patriots from 2006-09. He was a 12-time Pro Bowler and 10-time All-Pro. The fifth overall pick in the 1990 draft, Seau was inducted into the USC Ring of Honor and the Chargers Hall of Fame, and he looked to be a lock for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, for which he becomes eligible in 2014.
Steve Burton With Seau In 2007
Seau twice came out of retirement to join the Patriots, first in the summer of 2006 and again in the middle of the 2009 season.
Seau is now the eighth member of the 1994 Chargers Super Bowl team that has died, all before the age of 45.
Seau’s family has decided to allow medical researchers to study his brain.