Police in Oceanside, Calif. have yet to release Junior Seau’s cause of death, but the former NFL great’s tragic death is being investigated as a possible suicide, investigators said.
Seau, who spent 20 years in the NFL and was selected to 12 Pro Bowls, was found unconscious in his bedroom by his girlfriend, with a bullet wound to his chest. Police said no suicide note was found.
Since his death on Wednesday, observers have been questioning whether blows to his head may have contributed to the linebacker possibly taking his own life. He played in 268 games in one of the league’s toughest positions.
The news of Seau’s death stunned the Oceanside community where he was living since retiring from the NFL in 2009. His family members told reporters that they were just as surprised as everyone else to hear that the linebacker may have taken his own life.
Seau spent the majority of his career in San Diego. He was drafted by the Chargers in the first round of the 1990 draft, and shined for the organization until he left for Miami in 2002.
The Chargers dedicated their website to Seau the day after his death, showing the linebacker with a wide grin on his face, wearing a powder blue Chargers cap.
“I consider it an honor to have been a friend with Junior for over 23 years now,” team president Dean Spanos said in a statement. “We all know what he did on the field for the San Diego Chargers and his great accomplishments but I will tell you off the field he was equal to the task. He never forgot about the City of San Diego.”
He added: “It’s just a really sad moment right now for everybody.”
Back in 2010, Seau drove his car off a cliff and was arrested during an investigation of domestic violence at his home. Police never found evidence of drugs or alcohol involved in the car crash and he told investigators that he fell asleep at the wheel, according to reports.
The incident occurred one year after the linebacker retired from the NFL as a member of the New England Patriots.
Some current players and league officials used Twitter to express their condolences to Seau’s family: