OCEANSIDE, Calif. (CBS/AP)- Police say former NFL star Junior Seau has been found dead in an apparent suicide at his home in Southern California.
Oceanside Police Chief Frank McCoy said Seau's girlfriend reported finding him unconscious with a gunshot wound to the chest Wednesday. McCoy said lifesaving efforts were unsuccessful.
Seau's mother appeared before reporters, weeping uncontrollably.
Police responded to a report of a shooting at 10 a.m. at Seau's home on the coast north of San Diego.
"Everyone at the Chargers is in complete shock and disbelief right now," the Chargers said in a statement. "We ask everyone to stop what they're doing and send their prayers to Junior and his family."
Seau, 43, was a standout linebacker with the University of Southern California before going to the San Diego Chargers, whom he led to the Super Bowl following the 1994 season.
He remained with the Chargers until 2003 and went on to play with the Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots before retiring after the 2009 season.
Seau becomes the seventh member of the AFC champion 1994 Chargers to die at a relatively early age.
Five months after the team lost to the 49ers in Super Bowl XXIX, 28-year-old linebacker David Griggs died in a car crash in Florida. In 1996 running back Rodney Culver, 26, died when a ValuJet flight from Miami to Atlanta crashed into the Florida Everglades. Two years later, linebacker Doug Miller was struck by lightning - twice - in Colorado, killing him at age 28. In 2008, Curtis Whitley, 39, overdosed and defensive lineman Chris Mims, 38, died of a heart attack. Last year, Shawn Lee, a star defender on those '94 AFC champs, died in Raleigh, N.C. of cardiac arrest.