Junior Seau's mother: 'Take me, leave my son'
Junior Seau's mother, distraught at the apparent suicide of her son, said she does not understand why the 43-year-old former football star took his life.
"I don't understand, I don't understand," Luisa Seau cried as she spoke to reporters and others gathered outside Junior Seau's home in Oceanside.
"I'm shocked," she said. "I appreciate everybody showing your love to my son. Junior never do anything bad. I say to you: thank you and you guys for showing your love."
Luisa Seau said she was in church when she heard her son was dead. "I pray to God, 'Take me, take me, leave my son.' But it's too late."
Oceanside Police Chief Frank McCoy said Seau's girlfriend arrived at the home at 9:30 a.m. and found him dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest.
The case is being handled as a suicide, he said.
The San Diego Chargers also issued a statement that they are in "complete shock and disbelief" about Seau's death.
"We ask everyone to stop what they're doing and send their prayers to Junior and his family," the statement said.
Seau, 43, was an all-American at USC and then 12-time Pro-Bowl selection in the NFL. In addition to the Chargers, Seau also played for the Miami Dolphins and the New England Patriots.
-- Tony Perry