The Oceanside police have gone on record noting the former New Endland Patriot and longtime San Diego Charger’s death is being investigated as a suicide.
Police said his body was found by his girlfriend and that there was a handgun near the body.
A former USC star, Seau has spent most of his playing days in Southern California.
He was drafted fifth overall in 1990 by the Chargers and went to the pro bowl in 12 in 13 seasons with San Diego.
“I can’t put into words how I’m feeling right now,” said Chargers President Dean Spanos. “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.”
The Chargers are celebrating his death with the above graphic of Seau on their homepage with the dates of his life, 1969-2012.
“I have no words to describe the passing of Junior Seau,” said current Chargers Head Coach Norv Turner.
“It is a sad, sad day not only for me, but for the whole sports community,” Turner added. “I worked with Junior here and later in Miami. I can tell you no one had more character and true leadership ability than Junior. He brought passion to the game of football that was unmatched. His commitment to charitable causes in the community was inspiring. It was an honor to know him. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.”
If ruled a suicide, it would be the second time in as many months that an NFL player has taken his own life. Former Atlanta Falcons safety Ray Easterling died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound last month.