(CBS News) There's shock and grief among National Football League players and fans over the apparent suicide of former San Diego Chargers star Junior Seau.
His body was found Wednesday in his Oceanside, Calif. home.
The future Hall of Famer died with no explanation.
In his long NFL career, Seau made more than 1,800 tackles, becoming one of the most feared linebackers in the game.
With news of his death, family and friends gathered in shock at his home north of San Diego, where his mother's grief overflowed.
"I pray to God, please take me. Take me. Leave my son," Luisa Seau sobbed. "But it's too late. It's too late."
Seau was found with what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest.
"This case, at this point, is being investigated as a suicide," Oceanside Police Chief Frank McCoy told reporters.
There was no suicide note, but Seau's ex-wife says he texted simply, "I love you" to her and their three children on Tuesday.
His death comes after the suicide last year of former Chicago Bears safety Dave Duerson. He shot himself in the chest so his brain would be preserved for science.
In a suicide note, Duerson asked that it be studied by researchers investigating brain damage in NFL players.