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To hear that former NFL linebacker and legend Junior Seau, 43, killed himself was tough, but to see his distraught mother on CNN was worse. In a live feed outside Seau’s house in Oceanside, CA, Seau’s mother said she prayed for God to take her and not her son.

“I prayed to God ‘Please take me, leave my son but it was too late,” Luisa Mauga Seau cried into the microphones as she raised her clenched fist in the air.

According to the Oceanside police chief, authorities received a call from Seau’s girlfriend at 9:35 a.m. First responders found Seau unconscious and suffering from a gunshot wound to the chest when they arrived at his residence. They found a handgun beside him. Efforts to revive him were unsuccessful, according to police.

Seau’s distraught mother said she and her husband talked to him last week and he sounded bad. Family members gently pulled her away from the microphone.

Before leaving Seau’s mother said “Thank you. Appreciate you guys showing your love to my son.”

Seau’s sister, Annette, then asked the media to respect the family’s privacy.

The case is still under investigation.

Seau is credited with making the middle linebacker position physical. He was a 10-time All-Pro and 12-time Pro Bowl selection and was a member of the NFL 1990s All-Decade Team.

He is survived by 3 children.

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