A former NFL standout who retired from pro football in 2010 has been found dead in an apparent suicide, the Los Angeles Times reports. Junior Seau, a 12-time Pro Bowl selection and a member of the NFL 1990s All-Decade Team, was 43.
Seau was found dead today in the bedroom of his beachside home in Oceanside, Calif., the victim of what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest. Reports differed on who found him, with some indicating it was his girlfriend and others saying it was a housekeeper.
The star linebacker played the bulk of his NFL career — 13 seasons — with the San Diego Chargers after a collegiate career at the University of Southern California. He spent the later years of his pro career with the Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots.
The Times report notes: “In 2010, Seau was involved in a crash near his home when the sport-utility vehicle he was driving went over a beachside cliff. The accident occurred after he was arrested in Oceanside on suspicion of domestic violence.” Seau reportedly said he fell asleep at the wheel in that incident, although some observers suspected it was a suicide attempt.
Oceanside Mayor Jim Wood said of Seau: "He was a local hero — he certainly gave back to the community and to the youth through his Junior Seau Foundation. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends."
Authorities did not immediately provide additional details about Seau’s death, as investigators remained on the scene at his residence.