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Medical examiner rules Junior Seau’s death a suicide

San Diego Community Mourns Suicide Death of NFL Legend Junior Seau Getty Images

The San Diego County medical examiner’s office confirmed what police believed on Thursday, ruling that Junior Seau’s death was a suicide, and that the 20-year NFL veteran died of a gunshot wound to the chest.

Seau died Wednesday morning in his home in Oceanside, California. No one was home at the time that Seau shot himself. His girlfriend found him when she arrived at the home at 9:35 a.m., and she called 911.

Tissue and organ samples were collected for toxicology tests, which can take up to 90 days.

The medical examiner’s office is awaiting a decision by the Seau family about whether it will give Seau’s brain to researchers. Boston University’s Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy would like to examine Seau’s brain for evidence of trauma. The Center has discovered brain trauma in most of the deceased NFL players whose brains it has studied.

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46 Responses to “Medical examiner rules Junior Seau’s death a suicide”
  1. backstageatapuppetshow says: May 3, 2012 7:22 PM

    A fact that no one will ever tell you….

    The leading cause of death in the history of the world…

    is SUICIDE!

  2. porterhouse12 says: May 3, 2012 7:22 PM

    An example of how to act on the field. An example of how great men have struggles. Rest in peace, you will be remembered for the good you have done.

  3. salvaje50 says: May 3, 2012 7:27 PM

    Only God can judge him now…

  4. thatchrisguy says: May 3, 2012 7:31 PM

    What a shame. Whenever I read about someone taking their own life it gives me pause. What exactly pushes someone to that level of desperation? Junior was a true great. He had the world by the short and curlies. He was beloved wherever he played.

    I disagree with his choice of exit strategy, but hope he finds peace.

  5. markcrodriguez says: May 3, 2012 7:32 PM

    As sad as this is…I think every NFL player knows what can happen during and after their career. RIP Junior Seau.

  6. 86chawk says: May 3, 2012 7:35 PM

    Was never a fan of any of the teams Junior Seau played on but i was always a fan of his. A true class act on and off the field!! May you rest in peace Mr. Seau!

  7. realfootballfan says: May 3, 2012 7:35 PM

    Mklax15 is upset by this needless report. Get back to OTA’s and rookie contracts.

  8. whodey1218 says: May 3, 2012 7:36 PM

    I wonder if Chris benoit from wwf had the same thing wrong with him as these nfl players

  9. nflsecurity862 says: May 3, 2012 7:39 PM

    Drew Brees will need an explanation and Saints fans will need to see 100% documented proof before they believe it!

  10. backindasaddle says: May 3, 2012 7:41 PM

    “The medical examiner’s office is awaiting a decision by the Seau family about whether it will give Seau’s brain to researchers. Boston University’s Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy would like to examine Seau’s brain for evidence of trauma. The Center has discovered brain trauma in most of the deceased NFL players whose brains it has studied.”
    ____________________________________________________

    I don’t think there’s much doubt that brain trauma will be found. Junior was a linebacker collision machine for 20 years in the NFL, 4 years in college and several years in high school. I think it won’t be too much of a surprise to see evidence of concussions. The real question is: Can they directly correlate that to having caused him to commit suicide?

    Regardless, this is just very very sad. Junior was a great guy and someone who had such an outgoing, pleasant, happy and energetic way about him and seemingly could have a great post football life ahead of him. It’s really very shocking and very sad. RIP Junior.

  11. beckzhere says: May 3, 2012 7:42 PM

    I thought we established this already.

    RIP Junior.

  12. realnflmaster says: May 3, 2012 7:47 PM

    Cowardly act.

    Poor family.

  13. skoobyfl says: May 3, 2012 7:51 PM

    This whole event is sad.

  14. rosesacl says: May 3, 2012 8:00 PM

    Junior Seau = Fraud

  15. randomguy9999 says: May 3, 2012 8:06 PM

    the event is very sad…. and not the way many of us would have gone….

    but it was his choice, as it is for all of us…. people shouldn’t be criticizing him for any reason… that’s the most personal choice that anyone can make…..

    it’s none of your business….

  16. bagjr387 says: May 3, 2012 8:27 PM

    RIP JR. on a different note this is the new toy for the media for a while…..

  17. mtheparrothead says: May 3, 2012 8:32 PM

    Do you really just suggest suicide is a personal decision? Sorry, but when you have a family and kids, a personal decision becomes selfish. Regardless, rip

  18. rosesacl says: May 3, 2012 8:32 PM

    randomguy9999 says:
    “but it was his choice, as it is for all of us…. people shouldn’t be criticizing him for any reason… that’s the most personal choice that anyone can make…..

    it’s none of your business….”

    It became our business when he asserted himself as a hero and role model to thousands of kids across america… your wrong… he could have just stayed home like many great football players do when they retire….

  19. jenniferxxx says: May 3, 2012 8:35 PM

    Lawsuit countdown … day 1.

  20. joey49er says: May 3, 2012 8:45 PM

    Here we go !!!!all u idiots that keep commenting on poor seau is ignorant!!!! this selfish act will haunt his family for ever!!! Watchin his poor mom saying she wished it was her was just sad!!

  21. buzltyr321 says: May 3, 2012 8:46 PM

    A childhood friend took his own life because of constant incurable back pain, he was young. No one not experiencing this type of agony can relate. Seau’s 20 years of professional football, his position let to 1000s of blows to the head. Lord only knows the suffering he may have lived with for years. I love football, it’s a year round topic. Don’t ruin the game with rules to take away the adrenaline rush of playing at the Pro level. Instead fix the damn equipment, get NASA involved and protect the brain. Maybe the right equipment may be cumbersome and slow the game a tiny bit, but c’mon and figure it out. Safer barriers for the helmet!

  22. joey49er says: May 3, 2012 8:50 PM

    buz ur an idiot…..

  23. joey49er says: May 3, 2012 8:54 PM

    Hey buz lets just go and play frisbie,,,,lol
    u guys can try to put a spin on this like football has anything to do with suicide………. seau tried to kill his self two yrs ago.

  24. djstat says: May 3, 2012 8:54 PM

    Random guy: I blame him for leaving three children without a father and a his mother without a son. There is mental illness which he suffered but there are ways to ask for help. The tragedy is for his children who have no father. His mother who has to bury her son and friends who ask themselves what they could have done.

    At the end of the day, he took his own life because he felt he needed to. I hope he has found his peace and may he rest in peace. But I don’t not condone his choice.

    No lawsuit should be filed in a suicide

  25. joey49er says: May 3, 2012 8:57 PM

    Boxers take alot more blows to the head and so does cage fighters ufc,,,,,boxing is the most dangerous sport ever ….and they dont wear helmets!!!!

  26. giantsfan2104 says: May 3, 2012 9:04 PM

    whodey1218 says:
    May 3, 2012 7:36 PM
    I wonder if Chris benoit from wwf had the same thing wrong with him as these nfl players
    ===================================

    I’m not sure if that’s a fair comparison. Didn’t Benoit strangle his wife and son before he killed himself?

  27. tonyromoisterrible says: May 3, 2012 9:09 PM

    What a shame. I don’t know what went on his personal life, but he seemed like one hell of a person.

  28. francheyes says: May 3, 2012 9:12 PM

    @rosesacl

    Your wrong? Try you’re wrong if you want to be taken seriously. And one can’t “assert” themselves into the NFL. He played a game he loved, and was drafted, after that it’s talent. From what I’ve read today on si.com, he couldn’t differentiate between seau the player and seau the private citizen. Most importantly, what do you know about what he was going through? I don’t know anything about him, except what I’ve seen on tv. Does that give me the right to play seau’s shrink? Do yourself a favor, and I will do the same for myself in the future, compassion. I would hate to see you in this position, feeling like there was no other way.

  29. skinsfantom says: May 3, 2012 9:13 PM

    very big fan of seau but when you have children….. the word selfish keeps coming to mind… still in shock, how so very sad, it seemed like he would be the last person that would do this, what a tragedy

  30. masterflyguy says: May 3, 2012 9:24 PM

    Seau was a great player but suicide is a cowardly act. God bless.

  31. jlhdcart says: May 3, 2012 9:30 PM

    My thoughts and prayers are with his children. May they learn to live and accept the choice he had to make. RIP

  32. obamablowz says: May 3, 2012 9:31 PM

    backstageatapuppetshow says:
    May 3, 2012 7:22 PM
    A fact that no one will ever tell you….

    The leading cause of death in the history of the world…

    is SUICIDE!

    Real study says:
    Suicide was the 11th leading cause of death in the United States.
    It was the 8th leading cause of death for males, and 19th leading cause of death for females.
    The total number of suicide deaths was 29,350.

  33. obamablowz says: May 3, 2012 9:32 PM

    Heart disease: 599,413
    Cancer: 567,628
    Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 137,353
    Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 128,842
    Accidents (unintentional injuries): 118,021
    Alzheimer’s disease: 79,003
    Diabetes: 68,705
    Influenza and Pneumonia: 53,692
    Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 48,935
    Intentional self-harm (suicide): 36,909

  34. melikefootball says: May 3, 2012 9:54 PM

    You have to feel for his family and ther will be much discussion on why. But for all the media to jump on the fact of he did thid because of the violence of the game is to much. As many x players talk..when football is over and you aren’t held by the fans as some king and everyhing is dictated towards you things get tough and many can’t handle it. May Seau rest in peace.

  35. mnlittle says: May 3, 2012 9:55 PM

    I think the decision to end your own life is the ultimate personal choice and one that each person can make if they so desire. I do think that when children are involved that people have to consider them, what they will have to endure, before making this kind of decision. Even when depression or a medical situation is involved. In my opinion Seau made the wrong choice.

  36. nfl fan says: May 3, 2012 9:59 PM

    He’ll be remembered as a Coward by some and a great football player that committed suicide by others. I guess both roads lead to the same conclusion.

  37. 12is3times4 says: May 3, 2012 10:06 PM

    It’s my understanding that Junior Seau was not known to have sustained any concussions during his playing career. If that’s true, then if I were Roger Goodell – or for that matter Gary Bettman or any other executive figure in any sort of contact sport – I’d be s#!&ting bricks right about now over the prospect of Boston U studying Seau’s brain as they did with Dave Duerson.

    If it turns out that a football player with no concussion history still managed to end up with CTE, the only conclusion to be drawn is that said player contracted CTE through the thousands upon thousands of non-concussive collisions he experienced in practices and games throughout his career. And not just direct blows to the head or helmet, either, but pretty much any kind of hit that jostles the brain inside the skull.

    In other words, it would mean that even seemingly minor and routine collisions in football have brain damage potential, precisely because they are so commonplace. This would be a cannon shot through the heart of not just the NFL, or even just football, but pretty much all contact sports, because it would mean the only way to remove that brain damage potential would be to take out the contact. Flag football would just be the beginning. Flag hockey, anyone? Or how about flag lacrosse, flag MMA, or even flag soccer?

  38. patsfiend says: May 3, 2012 10:06 PM

    Even though there’s been some hatred between the teams, Chargers fans should know how the Pats feel about Junior. So many Pats have had nice things to say, including Belichick. This, from Bob Kraft, touching:

    “I was in New York yesterday. I came back and I have this little note that I dug up. Junior was one of those special people who came through our locker room. We always knew his real family, he was really a Charger, and the Spanos family … Someone I feel close to, even when he was here, we knew in the end he would be a Charger. But we were pretty close first cousins. Because the years he spent here we felt he was really a true Patriot.

    You folks got to see him a lot on the field, but I can tell you his presence in that locker room, the team meetings, some of them that I went to, his ability to speak and be a motivational speaker and his caring for fellow human beings.

    I went back to my records because having suffered the loss of my sweetheart this year and he sent me something within a few weeks of Myra passing. He said (in the note) that, ‘I’m so sorry about the passing of Mrs. Kraft. She was an inspiration to me. I’ve so much respect for all she did to help people lead better lives. I’ll always be there for you and your family. Junior Seau. Love you, buddy.’ And I don’t know if you know, he used to do this ‘love you, buddy.’ And then he enclosed a very generous check to the Myra Kraft Giving Back Fund.

    So here’s a guy who represented everything that we liked, how he conducted himself (in) an unselfish manner in the locker room. I remember him asking me to come to New York. I was going to an Elton John ‘AIDS in Africa’ event and he wanted to come down and be a part of it. And just a lot of wonderful things.

    No one ever squeezed me harder after every game and hugged me in the locker room. He just really was a special guy. So it’s a message to all of us to make sure we hug and squeeze the people we love and cherish them. The people you love, make sure they know it every day. So, a special guy.”

  39. rosesacl says: May 3, 2012 10:13 PM

    francheyes says:
    “Your wrong? Try you’re wrong if you want to be taken seriously. And one can’t “assert” themselves into the NFL. He played a game he loved, and was drafted, after that it’s talent. From what I’ve read today on si.com, he couldn’t differentiate between seau the player and seau the private citizen. Most importantly, what do you know about what he was going through? I don’t know anything about him, except what I’ve seen on tv. Does that give me the right to play seau’s shrink? Do yourself a favor, and I will do the same for myself in the future, compassion. I would hate to see you in this position, feeling like there was no other way.”

    I know nothing… nothing at all…. except one thing… the few moments before he loaded a gun and turned it on himself…. he wasn’t thinking about anyone but himself.

  40. bsizemore68 says: May 3, 2012 10:21 PM

    Masterflyguy, I hope you never get so low on life that you would chose suicide, until you walk in his shoes you know nothing about why he did this act. Bill

  41. 4evrnyt says: May 3, 2012 10:22 PM

    @backstageatapuppetshow
    The leading cause of death in the history of the world…

    is Malaria. Killed more human beings then any other organism or natural event.

  42. hooterdawg says: May 3, 2012 10:22 PM

    I think either Monk or Columbo needs to look into this matter. The medical examiner certainly rushed to make a suicide determination.

  43. paychrisjohnson28 says: May 3, 2012 11:53 PM

    For those of us that believe in GOD a higher power, we all were given Free Will in other words the freedom to choose our path, I personally don’t believe GOD intended for us to be able to choose when we pass away, it is up to us to do GOD’s work until he chooses that it is the end for us. I believe this life is a test for all of us until the end. Life on earth is a blink of an eye compared to eternity.

    Junior Seau was blessed with many gifts that most all of us may not ever come close to possessing, yet his suffering was too much he decided to go on any longer. He was a leader in sports and in charity, but he must have forgotten in his pain that a true leader is an example to all other human beings that even know of him and his final act was sadly destroyed his example of leadership that he worked 24 plus years to create and build through his fame as a football player. In the end of all the suffering we put up with in life, I believe if one was a genuinely good person, that person will be blessed with the pain one suffered through will be lifted off oneself completely. Thank you hall of famed #55 Junior Seau for entertaining us for 24 years in college and the pros, I bet any one of us who are long time football fans can think of a play they remember that Junior Seau made on the football field. I hope you find peace…

  44. imforbigblue says: May 4, 2012 12:19 AM

    I’m sorry I find it hard to believe all the contact over the years to the brain would make him kill his self

  45. vetdana says: May 4, 2012 2:31 AM

    12is3times4 says:If…. even seemingly minor and routine collisions in football have brain damage potential, then the only way to stop the damage is to stop playing contact sports !

    If this is true…where do we go from here ? …Signing waivers to play all contact sports ?
    …Would this be enough or, will we ban all contact sports….most of us do not want to go there…but folks ,sticking our head in the sand, does not negate the problem !!

  46. jiggy3198 says: May 4, 2012 12:41 PM

    I would tend to believe that there is a brain injury which could or could not have been a factor in committing suicide. I think the NFL needs to look at protective equipment including helmet and mouthpieces. I read in Article about a shockproof mouthpiece that would allow the players to be more protected from hits to the head. The NFL should mandate such equipment including new helmets in order to protect the player.

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