Junior Seau Death Being Investigated as Suicide

Body of Chargers legend, 18-year NFL veteran linebacker, found at his Oceanside home.

Updated at 2 p.m. Wednesday.

Former San Diego Chargers star Junior Seau died of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound at his beachfront North County home Wednesday, authorities reported.

According to Police Chief Frank McCoy, Seau's girlfriend found him at about 9:35 a.m. with a gunshot wound to the chest. Medics tried in vain to revive 43-year-old Seau before pronouncing him dead at the scene.

"This case at this point is being investigated as a suicide," the chief said outside the home. "A handgun was found near the body."

Authorities said they did not find a suicide note and are not releasing the name of the girlfriend. The San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office said it expects to complete an examination in the case Thursday.

Luisa Seau, Seau's mother, thanked the community for their support noting that she "didn't know who would do that" to Seau.

"I appreciate everybody over here to show your love for my son," Louisa said. "I don't know what I'm going to do without my son. I prayed to God, 'Take me, leave my son,' but it's too late, too late."

Louisa was surrounded by at least 200 people, some of whom screamed "We love you Mama Seau," while family members sang hymns.

During a Wednesday press conference, Chargers Head Coach Norv Turner said he found out while in a meeting while team President Dean Spanos said he heard while watching the news.

"I want to remember all the good things about him," Spanos said, adding that he last spoke with Seau a little less than a year ago.

Turner said Seau was a mentor to some people—something not everyone has the ability to do—and he will be missed. He added that he had not yet had a chance to talk with players to see how they felt about Seau's death.

Oceanside resident and friend of the family, Will Owens, said Seau's death is "the loss of a legend" and that he believed the was a "cry for help."

"The man did so much with his life and gave so much to the community," said Owens outside of Seau's home. "He was always so approachable when he was out in the neighborhood. He'd talk to anyone."

Seau was a 12-time Pro Bowl selection, and a 10-time All-Pro. He was drafted by the Chargers with the fifth overall pick in the 1990 NFL Draft out of the University of Southern California. He played with the Chargers for 13 years before finishing his career with the Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots.

Seau is the Bolts all-time leader in tackles with 1,288. He also had 47 career sacks and 15 career interceptions for San Diego.

In November 2011, he was inducted into the Chargers Hall of Fame. He was also named to the Chargers 50th Anniversary All-Time team, and in 1992 won the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year Award. He was also a member of the NFL's 1990s All-Decade Team.

Seau played in two Super Bowls in his career. In 1995, the Chargers lost 49-26 to the San Francisco 49ers. In 2008, Seau was part of the previously undefeated New England Patriots team that lost to the New York Giants 21-17.

Daniel Woolfolk, Marlena Medford, Shauntel Lowe, Eric Yates, Deanne Goodman and City News Service contributed to this report.

Deanne Goodman (Editor) May 02, 2012 at 06:34 PM
In Oct. 2010 he plunged his car 100 feet off a Carlsbad cliff. Was he attempting suicide back then or being reckless as a way to seek help? http://patch.com/A-MFm
Brian May 02, 2012 at 06:35 PM
I can't believe this. Why?!!
Larry May 02, 2012 at 06:36 PM
Just heard it on the radio, I'm still in shock.
Jenny Peckham May 02, 2012 at 06:55 PM
This is so sad!
jeremy May 02, 2012 at 07:07 PM
The whole cliff thing was no accident. Witness reports said he stopped. Then accelerated straigt toward cliff and went off the edge, hard to do when asleep. Now this. Sad. Had the truth npt been covered up before, maybe this could have been avoided. Again, sad.
Kevin George May 02, 2012 at 07:09 PM
Sad yes, shocking no.
Eric Yates May 02, 2012 at 07:19 PM
Long before I ever lived in San Diego, the first NFL jersey I ever owned when I was 15 years old was the navy blue 55! Loved the way he played and his tenacity. Thoughts and prayers go out to his family.
Andy Schreiber May 02, 2012 at 07:40 PM
So sad to hear about Junior's death. I wish he would have reached out to someone for help.
James Alan Jones May 02, 2012 at 08:05 PM
The San Diego sports world only has a few real " STARS " in it...Tony Gwynn, Dan Fouts, Trevor Hoffman...a few others And Junior Seau....At only 43 years old...What a sad,sad day this is...
Mai May 02, 2012 at 08:14 PM
Sad news, young football player died. Our prayer goes to the family, friends and fans
Jimmy Almond May 02, 2012 at 08:37 PM
Several eye witnesses said they saw the tire and skid marks left by the vehicle in which he was traveling in. I remember seeing these marks as reported by local news channels. These eye witnesses also said that the vehicle was punched or accelerated. The following day, the media went mum. They reported that he fell asleep at the wheel. The media decided they would simply not say anything negative about San Diego's hero and went for the asleep at the wheel instead of the truth. Privacy is one thing, but maybe if Junior and the rest of the cover-ups handled the situation with truth, he could have gotten some help with whatever he was experiencing - depression, anger, etc.
Monica May 02, 2012 at 09:07 PM
RIP #55
Doug Curlee May 02, 2012 at 10:33 PM
just an indicator of how great an athlete junior was.. he was known far and wide for his abilities in football and baseball.. what few people know, or remember, is that in his senior year at oceanside high school, he was the CIF san diego section playerr of the year.. in basketball. all-around athlete..all-around community guy..always ready to help kids.. don't know what his problems were, but i do know he's gone far too soon.. doug
Kathy May 02, 2012 at 10:47 PM
R.I.P. Jr., you were a true San Diegan no matter where you played. You were so generous, compassionate and inspiring to youths. I wish someone could of seen your pain and prevented such a sad ending to an amazing man. I hope you have now found peace, you will be so missed.
El Cordova Garage May 02, 2012 at 11:10 PM
Seau will be missed. He accomplished many great things throughout his life and was an inspiration to children and adults alike. Whatever hurt him so terribly to take him to such a dark place to surrender his own life may always be a mystery. What a tragedy!
Tom Yarnall May 03, 2012 at 12:57 AM
A linebacker usually hits a runner when the runner is at maximum power and acceleration. After 20 years playing professional ball all of those head hits just must have had a devastating effect. He was a compassionate person whose life was sadly cut short.
Doug Curlee May 03, 2012 at 02:25 AM
ivan.. mind sharing with us what that has to do with the death of junior seau?.. or are you just shilling for a website that might make you some money? doug
Joe Spencer May 03, 2012 at 03:02 AM
A very tragic and sad situation. It is eerily similar to a situation one year ago with former Chicago Bear Dave Duerson. One year ago Wednesday, on May 2, researchers at Boston University issued a report on the autopsy of Duerson, who had shot himself months before. Duerson, a former defensive back, had brain damage common to chronic head trauma, they said, citing chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), which had also been found in more than 20 other deceased players. In his last note to his family, Duerson had asked his brain be sent to researchers. He wanted the world to know what had enveloped him. You look at Dave Duerson and you look at Junior Seau and you can't help but notice the similarities. Late in his life, Duerson pleaded guilty to domestic battery. In October 2010, Seau survived a plunge off a cliff in his SUV hours after he had been arrested on suspicion of assaulting his girlfriend. he claimed at the time that he had fallen asleep behind the wheel. Duerson shot himself in the chest, an act which preserved his brain for study. Police say Seau shot himself in the chest as well. I haven't heard of a note being left behind....but perhaps he was looking to do the same. We lost a great man much too soon and a mother and father must bury their son which should never happen. Thank you for the memories Junior Seau. You will never be forgotten. Gods Speed.
Joe Spencer May 03, 2012 at 03:26 AM
This article from the New York Times about Dave Duerson's death may help some understand what Junior Seau may have been going through. Note that it was written a couple of weeks BEFORE the Boston University issued their report confirming brain damage coomon to chronic head trauma so the article only mentions that the brain damage was "possible", http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/23/sports/football/23duerson.html?_r=1&seid=auto&smid=tw-nytimes&pagewanted=all
Chelle May 03, 2012 at 05:01 AM
I don't think he committed suicide, I believe he was murdered. Samoans are proud strong people with very strong family ties, if he was debt his family would have helped him out, I cannot believe that he would take his life and leave his children and mother in that much pain, their religious beliefs are so strong and I cannot believe that his faith waivered so much that taking his life was the only way. No! No! He was murdered!
Jimmy Almond May 03, 2012 at 03:30 PM
You should go to the police and tell them that you believe he was murdered. They'll ask you, "Who did it and why you believe that?" You can use this post of yours to explain. Good luck with that!
Batman May 03, 2012 at 04:22 PM
The Mafia is good at making their homicides look like suicides. But was Junior involved with the Mafia in any way?
Earlene May 03, 2012 at 06:19 PM
I don't recall ever seeing anything as heart-wrenching as Mama Seau's emotional plea to God to take her instead of her son as she stood on the driveway of Junior's home after rushing there to find him dead. Reports are that she had talked to him via telephone that same morning and he gave no indication that anything was wrong, Even his best friends and family members say he never let on that there was any kind of problem. San Diego has lost a true champion both on the field and off. I'm sure the very large Seau Family will rally around one another and help one another to get through this tragic loss. I'm so sorry, Junior, you obviously had no idea how much everyone loved and admired you. (He was my favorite all-time player.)
David B Secor May 03, 2012 at 06:37 PM
Eight members of the 1994 Charger team that went to the Super Bowl are dead before the age of 45.
Mark May 06, 2012 at 11:48 PM
Jr. Your family have all our prayers . Thanks for the memories jr. love you man. R.I.P. Mark Wynn


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