Tyler Hilinski, a 21-year-old quarterback for Washington State was found dead in his Pullman, Washington apartment on Tuesday. According to ESPN, police said he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head, and the rifle that is believed to have been used was found next to his body.
He also left behind a suicide note. The contents of that note have not been made public.
Police made the tragic discovery after Hilinski didn’t show up for a football practice. Someone called in a welfare check for the young athlete.
Hilinski's brother Ryan, who is also a football quarterback, released a statement of his own about his late brother on Tuesday. "We, as a family, are grieving after receiving news that my brother, Tyler Hilinski took his own life this afternoon. We are in complete shock and disarray. Tyler was the kid that put a smile on everybody's face when they were down, especially his family. We will mourn the loss of Tyler for some time but celebrate the way he lived his life every day."
Tyler proved to be a successful quarterback. The New York Times reports that during the eight games he played during his sophomore season, he completed 130 of 179 passes for 1,176 yards and made seven touchdowns. During one game, he threw for 240 yards and three touchdowns.
"We are deeply saddened to hear the news of Tyler's passing," Washington State coach Mike Leach said in a statement provided to the Associated Press. "He was an incredible young man and everyone who had the privilege of knowing him was better for it. The entire WSU community mourns as thoughts and prayers go out to his family."
"The tragic news today surrounding Tyler Hilinski is devastating to all. Tyler was a tremendous individual, great friend and teammate, and he will be deeply missed. Our hearts go out to his family and friends,'' interim athletic director John Johnson said, according to ESPN. "Earlier tonight, the football team was brought together and informed of the tragedy. There, they were met by campus and department counseling and psychological services, including athletics' on-staff clinical psychologist and a licensed mental health counselor, along with WSU Athletics medical team. The university will continue to coordinate and provide ongoing counseling care for all student-athletes as long as needed.''
Athletes and fans alike have taken to Twitter to mourn the loss of the young star.
[Photo: Getty Images]
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