Handshake-gate:

Shutdown Corner

NFL legend Junior Seau found dead at his California home

Shutdown Corner

View photo

.

(Getty)

Former NFL linebacker Junior Seau was found dead Wednesday morning at his Southern California home. He was 43 years old.

The ex-linebacker's girlfriend found the NFL legend with a fatal gunshot wound to the chest. The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that police received a call to 911 at 9:35 a.m. reporting a possible suicide, per Oceanside police Chief Frank McCoy. Officers found Seau in a bedroom with a gunshot wound to the chest, and efforts to revive him were unsuccessful. Reports indicate that a gun was found by Seau's side. Seau's death was first reported by TMZ.

The San Diego Chargers issued a statement at approximately noon PT:

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.

"Obviously, it's shocking," Chargers team president Dean Spanos said. "It makes you feel very sad. He's brought so much to this community over the years. A good person, a good friend. He was the fabric — really a part of this community. He was the heart and soul of our team for so many years. Even after he left, his roots and his home were still here. Just people loved him and admired him."

A video or other embedded content has been hidden. Click here to view it.

If Seau committed suicide by shooting himself in the chest, it is similar to the way former Chicago Bears great Dave Duerson ended his life. Duerson shot himself in the chest on February 17, 2011 -- the method used so that his brain could be examined for symptoms of CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy), a trauma-induced disease common to NFL players and others who have received repeated blows to the head.

Seau, a 12-time Pro Bowler and 6-time First-Team All-Pro, was selected fifth overall in the 1990 NFL draft after an outstanding collegiate career at USC. He played with the San Diego Chargers through the 2002 season, spent 2003-2005 with the Miami Dolphins, and then signed with the New England Patriots in time for the 2006 season. In New England's perfect regular season of 2007, he played in all 16 games and started four. Seau first retires after that season, only to come back and play in 2008 and 2009 before finally leaving the NFL for good.

"I'm going to go surf," he told Showtime upon his January, 2010 retirement announcement. Whatever happens, I can honestly say, that that probably was my last game."

Seau is the eighth member of the Chargers' 1994 Super Bowl team to pass. We will keep you updated on this story as more news is confirmed.

Other popular content on Yahoo! Sports:
Paul Pierce channels Tim Tebow in important win for the Celtics
Surprising athlete was the NFL's top-paid player in 2011
Cubs fans walking 1,900 miles with goat to fight cancer, end curse

View Comments (9030)
  • Tennis-Czechs race into 2-0 lead over France in Fed Cup semi

    Fed Cup holders Czech Republic took a 2-0 lead in their semi-final against France after Lucie Safarova battled back from the brink of defeat to win the opener before Petra Kvitova won the second singles on Saturday. The 13th-ranked Safarova saved … More »

    Reuters - 30 minutes ago
  • Hero Ball Redefined

    Hero Ball Redefined

    Witness the redefinition. It's not just the little things -- it's the right things. #HeroBall is coming. The NBA Playoffs on TNT begin April 19! … More »

    NBA.com - 45 minutes ago
  • Tuktamysheva wins free skate, US claims World Team Trophy

    Tuktamysheva wins free skate, US claims World Team Trophy

    World champion Elizaveta Tuktamysheva of Russia was first in the women's free skate on Saturday but the United States held on to win the World Team Trophy. Tuktamysheva landed a triple axel and five more triple jumps to finish with 134.21 points, … More »

    AP - Sports - 56 minutes ago
  • Tennis-Fed Cup world group semifinal Czech Republic v France Fixture

    April 18 (Infostrada Sports) - Fixture from the Fed Cup World Group Semifinal match between Czech Republic and France on Saturday 1-Czech Republic lead France 2-0 On SaturdayPetra Kvitova (Czech Republic) beat Kristina Mladenovic (France) 6-3 6-4 … More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 6 minutes ago
  • Tennis-Fed Cup world group semifinal Draw

    April 18 (Infostrada Sports) - Draw from the Fed Cup World Group Semifinal matches on Saturday Semifinal1-Czech Republic lead France 2- 0 4-Russia lead 2-Germany 1- 0 … More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 6 minutes ago