Through her tears, Luisa Seau said that there had been no warning of this. How could her son, Junior, who had so much promise in his life and during a glittery football career, want to kill himself?
“I don’t understand,” she wailed.
But Seau, 43, a star linebacker at the University of Southern California and for his hometown San Diego Chargers, apparently ended his life Wednesday with a self-inflicted gunshot wound at his Oceanside, Calif., home.
Oceanside Police Chief Frank McCoy said Seau’s girlfriend went to the beachfront home about 9:30 a.m. and found him dead in a bedroom. Police and paramedics tried unsuccessfully to resuscitate him.
McCoy said Seau died of a gunshot wound to the chest. A handgun was found near the body. The case is being investigated as a suicide, although police found no suicide note.
Seau’s ex-wife, Gina, said that on Tuesday he sent her and each of their three children – daughter Sydney and sons Jake and Hunter – a text message, ending with “I love you.”
Seau, an All-Pro linebacker who spent most of his 20-year NFL career with the Chargers, retired in 2006 and then “unretired” days later, saying he was not ready to leave a game that he loved. He retired for good after the 2009 season.
Seau will be remembered as one of the greatest players in NFL history at any position, a 6-foot-3, 248-pound wrecking ball who made the Pro Bowl 12 years in a row and was voted All-Pro 10 times.