Junior Seau, the ex-Chargers linebacker, was found in his Oceanside home this morning when a woman who claimed to be Seau’s girlfriend called in at 9:45 a.m.
He had been found in his bedroom with a gunshot wound to his chest.
Seau was only 43 years old.
Police are currently ruling the death as a suicide, but are still looking into the reasons behind it.
Tiaina Baul Seau, Jr. had ended his football career in 2009 after playing for about 20 years. The bulk of that time was with the San Diego Chargers, where he played for 12 years as their top linebacker. During his tenure he had amassed 12 consecutive Pro Bowl appearances and led the Chargers to their only Superbowl appearance in 1995. He also spent some time in Florida with the Dolphins and later up in Massachusetts with the New England Patriots. He was later inducted into the Chargers hall of fame in 2011.
His death is a shock to the football community.
Dean Spanos, the president of the Chargers foundation had said, “I can’t put into words how I’m feeling right now. I’m shocked and devastated. Junior was my friend. We all lost a friend today. Junior was an icon in our community. He transcended the game. He wasn’t just a football player, he was so much more. He was loved by everyone in our family, our organization and throughout the NFL. This is just such a tragic loss. One of the worst things I could ever imagine. My prayers go out to Junior’s family. It’s heartbreaking.” (taken from NFL.com)
The Patriots had also released a statement saying, “We were shocked to hear of the initial reports regarding Junior Seau earlier today and are deeply saddened by the news of his death. We were fortunate to have had Junior join the Patriots in 2006 and are thankful for his many contributions to the team over the next four years. He had a legendary NFL career and his unrivaled passion for the game quickly made him a fan favorite here in New England. This is a sad day for the entire Patriots organization, our coaches and his many Patriots teammates. Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to his family and his many friends who will mourn this loss.” (taken from Boston.com sports page.)
Seau already had a few run ins with the law before. He had been arrested in a domestic violence dispute with his girlfriend, whom he shared his Oceanside home with, claiming that he had assaulted her in an argument. After his arrested, Seau had fallen 100 feet down a cliff side. He survived the fall.
The former Charger’s life was cut short, but questions will certainly keep people wondering. Until a final reason is answered, we shall remember him as a hard worker, a helper of the people, and a legend in the linebacker ranks.