Former San Diego Chargers safety Paul Oliver commits suicide in Georgia

Thu Sep 26, 2013 1:14pm EDT
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By Tim Gaynor

(Reuters) - Former San Diego Chargers safety Paul Oliver, 29, has shot and killed himself at his home in an Atlanta suburb, police said on Wednesday.

Oliver was found dead on Tuesday night in Marietta, Georgia, about 20 miles northwest of downtown Atlanta, a spokesman for the Cobb County Police Department said.

The Cobb County Medical Examiner's Office said that Oliver, a member of the Chargers from 2007 to 2011, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

"Everyone in the Chargers family is sad today after hearing the news about Paul," the NFL team said in a statement posted on the team's website.

"He was part of our family for five years. At just 29 years old, he still had a lifetime in front of him," the team said. "Right now all of our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this most difficult time."

Oliver's death came almost 17 months after former Chargers linebacker Junior Seau shot himself to death at his home in Oceanside, California.

A study of Seau's brain by a team of independent researchers found he had suffered from chronic encephalopathy, or CTE, likely brought on by two decades of blows to the head as a football player.

It was also the latest in a spate of suicides among current and former NFL players, including Jovan Belcher, Ray Easterling and Dave Duerson.   Continued...