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Former NFL Star Junior Seau Found Dead, Police Suspect Shooting Suicide

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May. 2 2012, Published 10:30 a.m. ET

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By Debbie Emery - Radar Reporter

Football star Junior Seau has been found dead at age 43 of an apparent gunshot wound through the heart in his Oceanside, Calif. home, on Wednesday.

The body of the former New England Patriots and San Diego Chargers linebacker was discovered dead in his bed by his girlfriend, according to law enforcement sources, reported the Los Angeles Times.

The player, whose full name is Tiaina Baul Seau Jr. had a history of personal problems over recent years.

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As RadarOnline.com previously reported, in October 2010 he drove his car off of a cliff just hours after being arrested on domestic violence charges.

After being drafted No. 5 overall in the 1990 out of the University of Southern California, Seau's All-Pro NFL career spanned 19 seasons and saw him playing 12 stellar seasons for the San Diego Chargers and being named the AFC Player of the Year 1994.

His first emotional retirement from football came in 2006, but just four days later he signed with the New England Patriots and went on to play in Super Bowl XLII the following year with teammate Tom Brady in the loss against the New York Giants.

He announced his intention to retire again in 2010. In his career, he tallied 1,849 tackles and 56.5 sacks.

Seau is survived by daughter, Sydney Beau, and sons Jake Ryan and Hunter Tiaina, and leaves behind the legacy of the Junior Seau Foundation, whose mission is to educate and empower young people.

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