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Seau's '94 Chargers Teammate

'We Might Be Cursed'

5/4/2012 4:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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The supposed "curse" of the 1994 San Diego Chargers has at least one member of the team concerned for his own life ... after Junior Seau became the 8th player from the squad to die.

TMZ spoke with former Chargers nose guard Reuben Davis -- who played for the Bolts from '94 to '99.

When we asked about the curse, Davis couldn't have been more blunt -- "It's kind of like a Final Destination movie ... I feel we might be cursed and it's scary."

The 1994 Chargers had an amazing season -- winning the AFC playing in the Super Bowl ... only to lose to the 49ers. Since the loss, 8 members of the team have died under the age of 45.

"Ever since then it has been downhill," Reuben says ... adding, "At the end we didn't win the Super Bowl and now this, it's just scary and I have no answer."

But, Reuben thinks the surviving members of the team can break the curse if they stick together ... telling us, "Every year the Chargers have an alumni weekend ... maybe we need to reach out to the remaining players and all agree to get together as a group."

"It's just scary."

Junior Seau

Death Ruled Suicide

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

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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.

Marcellus Wiley

I'm Worried About MY Brain

After Junior Seau's Suicide

5/3/2012 2:57 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

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Junior Seau's apparent suicide has former teammate Marcellus Wiley seriously concerned about the long term effects of his days as a hard hitting NFL defensive end.

Today at LAX, Marcellus told us he's spoken to several players since Junior's death yesterday -- and admits "there is a concern about the concussions we had."

As we reported, Junior's sudden death by a gunshot to the chest ... is the latest in a string of ex-NFL player suicides that might be linked to brain-related injuries during their football careers.

Marcellus told us, "I'm 5 years removed from retirement and who knows what effects it had on me psychologically, emotionally, biologically." Watch the clip ... he also reveals concerns about certain drugs he says players took just to stay on the field.

Wiley, who played 10 seasons of NFL ball, added ... "We all love the game, we have no regrets. You just want to make sure you know your course ahead."

Seau Family

We're NOT Blaming NFL

for Junior's Death

5/3/2012 12:50 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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Junior Seau's family does NOT believe the NFL legend shot himself in the chest to spare his brain ... TMZ has learned.

Seau family sources tell us ... Junior never complained about concussion-related medical problems and didn't appear to be suffering from depression.

We're told Seau never really spoke about the ongoing legal battle between the NFL and retired players who claim the league concealed critical information about the long-term effects of concussions.

One family source was adamant ... if Junior was passionate about preserving his brain, he would've mentioned something to his family.  The family is still unsure why Junior would want to end his own life.

Seau's death instantly drew comparisons to the death of former Chicago Bears safety Dave Duerson -- who left a suicide note explaining he shot himself in the chest because he wanted his brain to be sent to the "NFL brain bank" for study.

Seau Teammate Breaks Down

"I Missed Seeing Him

One Last Time"

5/2/2012 3:30 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

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Junior Seau
's former teammate broke down in tears, live on the radio, moments after hearing about his death -- and wished he could have done something to save his friend.

Marcellus Wiley played with Seau as a San Diego Charger in 2001 and 2002 -- and now co-hosts the Max and Marcellus show on 710 ESPN in LA. 

Marcellus was on the air today when TMZ broke the news about Seau's death -- and immediately got emotional sharing memories of his teammate.

Take a listen, it's extremely poignant ... especially when Marcellus laments missing his last chance to hang out with Junior at a recent event.

Junior Seau Dead

Cops Suspect Suicide

5/2/2012 11:09 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

Junior Seau has died, and cops suspect suicide.

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4:09 PM PDT -- Law enforcement tells us ... investigators discovered a revolver at the scene. It's unclear who the gun belongs to.

1:52 PM PDT --
The Oceanside PD tells us ... Seau's girlfriend was at the home this morning and saw Seau alive ... before she left to the gym at 7:45 AM.

We're told when she returned ... she claims she discovered Seau bleeding from his chest and immediately called 911.

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NFL legend Junior Seau was found dead at his Oceanside, CA home this morning from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest -- law enforcement sources tell TMZ.

Oceanside Police Chief Frank McCoy just spoke outside Seau's San Diego house, claiming Seau's body was initially discovered by Seau's girlfriend.

A 911 call was placed around 10AM this morning -- authorities responded to the scene, and found Seau's unconscious body inside a bedroom with a gunshot wound to the chest.

Paramedics attempted to revive Seau, but life-saving efforts were unsuccessful. He was pronounced dead on the scene. His body has just been removed from the house and is currently being transported to the Medical Examiner's office in a white van.

McCoy says investigators recovered a handgun in the bedroom -- and the case is currently being investigated as a suicide.

A law enforcement official tells TMZ ... no suicide note has been discovered at the scene.

Seau's mother also spoke briefly -- and she was hysterical, crying to God, "Take me. Leave my son alone!"



Seau was 43-years-old. He is survived by 4 children and an ex-wife.

We're told Seau sent text messages to his ex-wife and kids yesterday saying, "Love you." They all responded, but didn't suspect anything was wrong. We're told he last saw his kids 3 weeks ago.

Sources close to Seau tell us family members didn't notice any signs of depression in recent weeks.

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The fact Seau chose to shoot himself in the chest seems like a premeditated decision -- considering several NFL players have recently killed themselves in a similar fashion in order to preserve their brains for research purposes ... in the wake of new studies which appear to connect football-related concussions to suicidal behavior.

Seau was a beast in the NFL -- skyrocketing to fame thanks to his explosive play with the San Diego Chargers, Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots. The USC standout was selected in the first round of the NFL draft in 1990 and played in the league for 20 years.

Seau was involved in a car accident back in 2010 when he drove his SUV off a cliff in Carlsbad, CA hours after he was arrested for allegedly attacking his girlfriend. Seau later said he was not trying to kill himself ... insisting he had fallen asleep at the wheel.

The San Diego Chargers released a statement, claiming, "Everyone at the Chargers is in complete shock and disbelief right now...We ask everyone to stop what they're doing and send their prayers to Junior and his family."

The New England Patriots also released a statement, claiming, "This is a sad day for the entire Patriots organization, our coaches and his many Patriots teammates. Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to his family and his many friends who will mourn this loss.”

Seau is the 8th member of the 1994 San Diego Chargers team to die before the age of 45 ... joining linebacker David Griggs, running back Rodney Culver, linebacker Doug Miller, center Curtis Whitley, defensive end Chris Mims, defensive tackle Shawn Lee and linebacker Lew Bush.

The Internet's exploding with reactions to Junior's death -- click here to read more.

Junior Seau

Latest In String of NFL Suicides

... Concussions Blamed

5/2/2012 11:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

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Junior Seau
is the latest of several former NFL players to commit suicide -- and all the deaths might be linked ... through brain-related injuries sustained during the players' football careers.

Most recently, 62-year-old former Atlanta Falcons player Ray Easterling (center) shot himself last month in his Virginia home. His wife claims the former safety developed symptoms of dementia after his football career.

Easterling filed a federal lawsuit in Philly against the NFL in 2011 over its handling of concussion-related football injuries -- claiming the league intentionally concealed links between the injuries and the game.

Dozens and dozens of similar concussion-related lawsuits have also been filed against the NFL -- but the league insists the allegations are without merit.

50-year-old former Chicago Bears player Dave Duerson (right) was found dead in his Florida home last year from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest. 

Before his death, he texted his family asking for his brain to be used for research (hence why he shot himself in the chest). Months later, researcher neurologists at Boston University confirmed Duerson had suffered from a neurodegenerative disease linked to concussions.

It's possible Junior Seau shot himself in the chest for the same reason.

Terrell Owens had TWO near-death encounters involving pills -- most recently on October 6th, when his assistant called 911 claiming the NFL star had OD'd. T.O. nearly died back in 2006 too, after downing 36 Vicodins.

As we reported, Junior Seau drove his truck off a California cliff back in 2010 following a domestic violence arrest. It's unclear if it was a suicide attempt.

Junior Seau

Cops Investigating Shooting

Involving NFL Star

5/2/2012 10:57 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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TMZ has confirmed ... Junior Seau is dead. Cops suspect suicide.

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Cops in Oceanside, CA are investigating a possible shooting involving former NFL star Junior Seau ... law enforcement sources tell TMZ.

We spoke with an investigator in the coroner's office .. who told us they got a call to respond to the scene ... though the details surrounding the situation are still unclear.

Cops are currently at a residence where 43-year-old Junior is believed to be staying.

People in law enforcement are telling us Junior Seau is dead ... but we are unable to confirm that right now.

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Attempts to reach Seau and Seau's people have been unsuccessful.

Seau was involved in a car accident back in 2010 when he drove his SUV off a cliff in Carlsbad, CA hours after he was arrested for allegedly attacking his girlfriend. Seau later said he was not trying to kill himself ... insisting he had fallen asleep at the wheel.

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