Autopsy: Rashaan Salaam Died of Self-Inflicted Gunshot to Head

His family said he had shown symptoms associated with CTE.

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Dec 29 2016, 5:49pm

Peter Brouillet-USA TODAY NETWORK

Rashaan Salaam, the 1994 Heisman Trophy winner and football star at Colorado, died of suicide, according to an autopsy report. He shot himself in the head and his body was found Dec. 5 in Eben G. Fine Park in Boulder, outside his girlfriend's car. He was 42.

The coroner's report also said that Salaam had been drinking heavily before the suicide and smoking marijuana. He had a blood alcohol level of 0.25 when he was found.

Salaam was suffering from multiple health issues at the time of his death, according to the report, including thoracic scoliosis. While his family reportedly declined to have his brain examined for chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) after his death, his brother, Jabali Alaji, told USA Today that he thought Salaam exhibited the symptoms of the neurodegenerative disease found in many former football players and linked to repetitive brain trauma, citing Rashaan's depression and memory loss.

The New York Times reported that it was clear to people near Salaam that he had been dealing with "mental health problems."

"The decedent reportedly has a history of depression; and recent life stressors," the report read.

[Denver Post]

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