Former NFL star, Junior Seau was found dead, shot to death, Wednesday, May 2, 2012 by his housekeeper. Police say it appeared to be suicide.
Police Chief Frank McCoy said Junior Seau’s girlfriend reported finding him unconscious at 9:35 a.m. with a gunshot wound to the chest and lifesaving efforts were unsuccessful.
Junior Seau’s suicide may be linked to chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE according to Boston University researchers. CTE is a is a progressive degenerative disease that is caused by repeated head injuries. People with CTE may have symptoms such as dementia, headaches, tremors, confusion, aggression and depression.
In October 2010, Junior Seau drove off a cliff and survived the 100-foot plunge down in his SUV. That was hours after he was arrested for investigation of domestic violence at his Oceanside home that he shared with his girlfriend. The woman had told authorities that Junior Seau assaulted her during an argument.
Junior Seau’s mother said in a press conference outside of the former NFL player’s house in Oceanside, California “I don’t understand, I’m shocked,” Luisa Seau cried. “I don’t understand who did this to my son. I pray to God, take me, not my son. Monday, Tuesday he was talking to me, joking called me a ‘homegirl’. Junior, why you never tell me?”
Chargers President Dean Spanos said in a statement, “I am stunned. I can’t put into words how I’m feeling right now. I’m shocked and devastated. Junior was my friend. 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.”
Wednesday morning, Wiley, Seau’s best friend, wrote via twitter: “Being close enough to know him, but not close enough to help him is the toughest part for us all. His energy & spirit lives on.”
The 43-year-old linebacker played 20 NFL seasons for three teams; the San Diego Chargers, Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots from 1990-2009. He was selected for 12 Pro Bowls, the NFL’s equivalent of an all-star game. Junior Seau retired in 2009.
Junior Seau’s death is another added to former NFL players who have committed suicide including; Terry Long of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Andre Waters of the Philadelphia Eagles, and Dave Duerson of the Chicago Bears.