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Junior Seau's parents join in singing 'Amazing Grace'

May 3, 2012 |  7:01 pm

The parents of Junior Seau made a tearful appearance outside his home Thursday night, thanking the swelling crowd, and all of the San Diego region, for showing such admiration and love for their son.

"Thank you so much," Tiaina Seau told the crowd of several hundred gathered outside his son's beachfront home in Oceanside. "God bless you guys."

Seau's mother, Luisa, sobbing uncontrollably, said, "There's so much pain. It's so hard."

Luisa and Tiaina Seau joined the crowd in singing "Amazing Grace."

Meanwhile, plans for memorials for late next week are shaping up, at a local church and at Oceanside High School, which Junior Seau attended before enrolling at USC.

The San Diego County medical examiner concluded Thursday, after a forensic autopsy, that Seau died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest. The medical examiner's office said it is "awaiting the family's decision regarding the study of the brain for repetitive injury by researchers outside of the office."

Seau, 43, a star football player at USC and for the San Diego Chargers, was found dead in bed at his Oceanside home about 9:30 a.m. Wednesday by his girlfriend. A gun was found near the body but no note.

The issue of brain injuries among football players has been highlighted by the early death of numerous former players. Although Seau was not known publicly for having had concussions, that does not rule out the possibility that brain injuries incurred during his long career, specialists said.

Researchers at Boston University, leaders in the study of brain injury, have reportedly asked to examine Seau's brain, a decision that is up to the family.

Asked whether he had suffered concussions during his 20-year career, Seau's ex-wife, Gina, told ESPN, "Of course he had. He always bounced back and kept on playing. He's a warrior. That didn't stop him. I don't know what football player hasn't. It's not ballet. It's part of the game."


Junior Seau's family to decide on brain study, coroner says

San Diego in mourning for a legend

Seau autopsy planned as friends, fans seek answers

--Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: Well-wishers outside the Oceanside home of Junior Seau. Credit: Sandy Huffaker / Getty Images