SUNNY ISLES BEACH (CBS4) – Former Chicago Bears and New York Giants safety Dave Duerson’s death has been ruled a suicide, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The Tribune, citing an unidentified person with knowledge of the situation, reported on its website Saturday that Duerson’s death was the result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his chest.

His body was found Thursday in Sunny Isles Beach.

Duerson, 50, was a starting safety on one of the greatest defenses the NFL has ever seen, the 1985 Chicago Bears. While with the Bears, he won a Super Bowl and won a second Super Bowl ring as a member of the 1990 New York Giants.

“We are stunned and saddened to hear the tragic news regarding Dave Duerson,” the Bears said in a statement last week. “He was a great contributor to our team and the Chicago community. Today is a difficult day for all of us who loved Dave. We’ll miss him. Our prayers are with his family.”

Duerson appeared in 102 games with 76 starts with the Bears, recording 566 tackles, 18 interceptions, 15 sacks, seven forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries and 46 pass breakups, according to the Bears website.

“Our family asks that you please remember Dave as a good, kind, and caring man,” Duerson’s ex-wife Alicia told the NBC affiliate in Chicago. “He loved and cherished his family and friends and was extremely proud of his beloved Notre Dame and Chicago Bears. Please keep Dave and our family in your prayers.”

Chicago Newsradio 780 Bears analyst Tom Thayer, who was Duerson’s roommate at Notre Dame, said he was in “total shock.”

“He was always just a great guy,” Thayer said. “I watched him … turn into a great NFL player, a great father and great husband and everything you wanted to see a man turn into.

“Dave had a lot of life in front of him.”

A Miami-Dade police supervisor said the department had no information regarding the cause of Duerson’s death.

Chris Nowinski, part of the Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy at Boston University School of Medicine, confirmed to the AP that Duerson’s brain has been donated to the study.

(© 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

  1. Jimbo99 says:

    Bet they find the same brain damage they’re finding in every ex-NFL players autopsy. I really have an issue with the owner’s seeking an 18 game regular season, even as a fan. If in 16 games and 4+ months of football, they can’t determine which 12 teams are in the playoffs ? And to expand the playoff field of teams ? No, I was satisfied with a 14 game regular season. 16 was a stretch, but with Seattle, Tampa Bay, Jacksonville & Carolina coming into the NFL, Then Cleveland got a team after the Browns moved to Baltimore to become the Ravens, justifying 2 more games had a little justification behind it ? But the games has gotten even more violent as the players get bigger, stronger & faster. The equipment has kept pace, so the rules and helmet to helmet contact is outlawed. Those complaining about their fines, well when they get to be 45+ years old, they’ll figure it out, if they’re not to depressed from the hits they delivered or received ?

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