junior seau*(Via ABC News) – Former longtime NFL linebacker Junior Seau committed suicide today at his Oceanside, Calif., home.

San Diego Chargers Chaplain Shawn Mitchell told ABCNews.com that Seau died of a “self inflicted gunshot wound to the chest this morning.” Seau was 43.

Seau’s mother broke down in tears at a press conference outside her son’s home this afternoon, saying “Take me, take me, leave my son, but it’s too late.”

Oceanside police chief Frank McCoy said a woman who identified herself as Seau’s girlfriend called 911 at 9:45 a.m. and told the dispatcher that she had found Seau unconscious in a bedroom with a gunshot wound to the chest. McCoy said a handgun was found near Seau’s body, and authorities are investigating the former NFL player’s death as a suicide.

The Chargers released a statement to ABC News’ San Diego affiliate: “Everyone at the Chargers is in complete shock and disbelief right now. We ask everyone to stop what they’re doing and send their prayers to Junior and his family.”

Read/learn more at ABC News.

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