OCEANSIDE, Calif. -- Junior Seau, once one of the top defensive players in the NFL who played for the San Diego Chargers, Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots, has been found dead in his home in Oceanside. He was 43.
Police are investigating the shooting as a possible suicide.
Seau leaves behind three children and an ex-wife.
Officials say Seau texted messages to his family on Tuesday, telling them: "Love you."
At a news conference today, Seau's mother expressed her grief and said: "I pray to God take me first, but not it's too late." She also asked the media and fans to "Please show love to my son."
Various news reports indicate that police found a handgun next to the body, but no suicide note was found. Seau was found in his bedroom, and life-saving efforts by paramedics were not successful, according to reports.
News reports show that Seau made headlines in 2010 when he drove his SUV off a cliff in Carlsbad, Calif., hours after he was arrested and accused of attacking his girlfriend. Seau told authorities that he fell asleep at the wheel.
Seau becomes the eighth member of the Chargers '94 Super Bowl team to die, an unusually high number of deaths for players so young.
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