Junior Seau found dead from apparent suicide

NFL legend Junior Seau is seen in this file photo at the 2012 Legends Dinner and Auction. (Junior Seau Foundation)

May 2, 2012 8:45:56 PM PDT
NFL legend Junior Seau was found dead on Wednesday morning from an apparent suicide inside his home in Oceanside.

Police responded after a female, believed to be Seau's girlfriend, found him in the bedroom with a gunshot wound to the chest at about 9:35 a.m. He was declared dead at the scene. Oceanside Police Lt. Leonard Mata said a handgun was found next to the body.

San Diego Chargers Chaplain Shawn Mitchell said he was meeting with the family. The family was seen hugging and crying outside the home. Seau's grief-stricken mother addressed reporters, thanking the public for showing love for her son.

Seau was considered the best linebacker of his generation. He was drafted fifth overall by the San Diego Chargers during the 1990 NFL Draft and played for the Chargers until 2002. He went on to play for the Miami Dolphins from 2003 to 2005 and the New England Patriots from 2006 to 2009. Seau was also a standout player at University of Southern California.

In October 2010, Seau was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence, then drove his SUV off a cliff in Carlsbad after being released from jail. The former Chargers linebacker was found by emergency crews on the beach. He told authorities at the time that he had gotten sleepy.

Seau is one of at least three former NFL players who have committed suicide in the past 14 months. Dave Duerson shot himself in the chest in February 2011, and Ray Easterling killed himself in February.