[Updated at 3:43 p.m. ET] Talking to reporters outside Seau's home, a distraught Luisa Mauga Seau, the ex-player's mother, repeatedly thanked those who had shown love to her son.
"I pray to God, take me! Leave my son! But it's too late," she said in tears as those nearby tried to console her.
[Updated at 3:34 p.m. ET] The Oceanside, California, police chief says Junior Seau's death is being investigated as a suicide.
Authorities received a call from a woman who said she was his girlfriend. She said she found the former Pro Bowler unconscious with a gunshot wound to his chest Wednesday morning, Oceanside Police Chief Frank McCoy said in a news conference.
Police officers and firefighters went to the house and found him in one of the bedrooms. They tried to revive him, to no avail, McCoy said, adding that a handgun was found near Seau's body.
[Posted at 3:18 p.m. ET] The San Diego Chargers issued a statement on their website regarding "the passing" of their former Pro Bowl linebacker Junior Seau, who reportedly killed himself in his Oceanside, California, home Wednesday.
"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," the statement said.
After TMZ and other media outlets reported a police presence at his home early Wednesday, the Chargers tweeted that they had no information on the matter. Minutes later, they announced that a conference call with Coach Norv Turner had been canceled before issuing the statement on Seau's passing.
"The outpouring of emotion is no surprise," the team tweeted shortly after 3 p.m. ET.
Seau played 20 seasons in the NFL, 13 of which came with the Chargers. He played his last seven seasons with the Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots.
Junior played football the way it was meant to be played. He will be missed.
WOW! I'm in shock. Jr was one of my favorite players back when it was a game involving skill and athleticism.
I remember living in San Diego and he came into a restaurant, he was ONE of the most down to earth people and he did a LOT of good for the community....just really, really sad. Also ONE of my favorite players of all time! Recent events in his life would indicate the he was OBVIOUSLY suffering from some emotional problems and it's a crying shame that nobody "noticed" how low he was. Sad day and tragic as well.
True tragic loss!!!
a great man id the SD community and great Family, my heart is aching for them...he made SD football exciting and he was full of enthusiasm and passion. Don't understand? buy to a Great athleate and philanthropist.
You interrupted a friend of the man who had just killed himself for Newt's suspension speech? He was discussing a growing problem in a popular sport and pouring his heart out for a fallen friend. We all knew Newt was leaving. Kinda' bad taste guys.
I honestly feel that Junior made a MUCH bigger contribution to the world than Newt can EVER hope. I agree....Newt is SO yesterdays news!
Prayers for him and his family
My deepest sympathy& prayers for the Seau family..
Other websites reporting he was shot in the chest. If the case is that he killed himself, then his motives seem pretty set on preserving his brain for an autopsy.
Such deaths are always sad and unfortunate, but they are also a service to determining how profoundly disgusting a sport like football has become in recent decades. The damage done to these young men is just heart-wrenching. The game needs to change. Big time changes. What we are watching is not the football that was watched in the 70's or 80's. Today, the game has become a product for entertainment. The more hits, the more entertaining it seems. Just brutal. Awful.
My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.
I agree with you on your comments. This is really sad and another posted a question could this be related to a head injury. I surely hope some light is shed on this tragic turn of events. Yes..football and most other professional sports have become so money driven....what happened to the sports?
Exactly, FSD. Football is not a sport ANYone should come to the defense of. It really has become disgusting, and, unfortunately, the high school level is becoming the same way. There needs to be SERIOUS and Appropriate discussions about new rules and regulations to these dangerous sports.
Could it be related to changes in mood & behavior due to head injuries? He did play 20 seasons... So sorry for his family.
Wow shocking. He obviously had recent issues but no need for the extreme. He must have been really depressed or had LG symptoms. Great Player-he will be missed. It makes me feel old at 48 that I am trying to make it to the next year, etc.
He seemed like such a solid rock of foundation. I wonder what happened.
I am in complete and total shock for him, his family and fans. He did a LOT of good things in his short life. So very sad and I send nothing but good to San Diego and the entire football community.
Great Trojan. Great Charger. What a loss, sad.
Junior Seau will be missed this is a very sad day. My prayers go out to him and his family.
Another notch in the NFL's belt of not taking care of former players.
This blog – This Just In – will no longer be updated. Looking for the freshest news from CNN? Go to our ever-popular CNN.com homepage on your desktop or your mobile device, and join the party at @cnnbrk, the world's most-followed account for news.