Junior Seau's mother cried out in shock, along with the San Diego community, over the sudden death of her son.
"Junior! Why didn't you tell me you were going?" Luisa Seau said Wednesday while sobbing during her statement to the media, via the North County Times. "You are the best boy. Take me, take me, leave my son alone."
Seau's mother reportedly was in church when told of her son's death. She recently had spoken with her son and said everything seemed OK.
Oceanside Police Chief Frank McCoy said Seau was found in a bedroom of his Oceanside, Calif., home, unconscious, with a gunshot wound to his chest. A handgun was found nearby.
Life-saving measures were attempted on Seau, but authorities were unable to revive the 20-year NFL veteran.
"I don't understand, I don't know anything," Seau's mother said. "I'm shocked. I appreciate everyone, show your love to my son."
Seau's sister asked for privacy for the family.
"My brother was a loving brother and a caring citizen," she said.
Oceanside Mayor Jim Wood shared his condolences after learning of Seau's death from police.
"He was a local hero -- he certainly gave back to the community and to the youth through his Junior Seau Foundation," Wood said. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends."
Seau's community service didn't go unnoticed by the NFL, which named him its Walter Payton Man of the Year in 1994.
"All of us are deeply saddened about Junior Seau, a great player loved by teammates who also worked hard to serve his community," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement released by the league. "Junior and his family will remain in our thoughts."
Chargers president Dean Spanos also praised Seau as a friend he was honored to have known for 23 years.
"We all know what he did on the field for the San Diego Chargers and his great accomplishments, but I'll tell you off the field, he was equal to the task and never forgot about the city of San Diego," Spanos said at a news conference. "This was his home, this was where his roots were, and he couldn't do enough off the field for the youth. Anyone he could help, he helped."