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Junior Seau

Death Ruled Suicide

5/3/2012 4:25 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

0503-jenior-seau-getty-3
Junior Seau
's death has been ruled a suicide -- this according to the San Diego County medical examiner's office.

According to the medical examiner, Seau -- who was found unconscious at his Oceanside, CA home yesterday -- died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest.

The medical examiner's office says Seau's family has yet to decide whether to turn the NFL legend's brain over to outside researchers for study.

There are reports a Boston University research center has already requested to examine Junior's brain -- to see if there's a link between his suicide and concussion-related injuries he sustained during his NFL career.

As we reported, former NFL player Dave Duerson shot himself in the chest last year, requesting his brain be donated to research. Months after Duerson's death, researchers at BU confirmed he suffered from a neurodegenerative disease linked to concussions.

But as we first reported, Seau's family doesn't believe he shot himself in the chest to preserve his brain -- because he never complained about concussion-related medical problems and didn't appear to be suffering from depression.

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