Washington State University (WSU) quarterback Tyler Hilinksi was found dead in a Pullman apartment Tuesday afternoon from an apparent suicide, according to police, as first reported by our affiliate KOMO.
KOMO on Tuesday reported officers were called to the Aspen Village Apartments located at 1620 NE Northwood Drive around 4:30 p.m. local time to do a welfare check after Hilinski failed to show up for practice earlier in the day.
When officers arrived, they found the 21-year-old dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
Police said a rifle was recovered next to him along with a suicide note.
Hilinski was a redshirt sophomore and was most recently the starting quarterback in the Cougars' appearance in the Holiday Bowl.
Pullman Police and the Whitman County Coroner's Office are still investigating.
Tyler Hilinksi's brother, Ryan Hilinski, posted to Twitter: "Please keep my family in your prayers tonight."
Condolences for the Hilinski family came pouring in from the WSU Cougar Nation and all over the sports community.
WSU President Kirk Shultz tweeted: "Our thoughts and prayers are with the Hilinski family."
WSU Football released a statement from Head Coach Mike Leach via Twitter that read, “We are deeply saddened to hear the news of Tyler’s passing."
"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."
Another statement from WSU Interim Director of Athletics John Johnson said the team was brought together and informed of Tyler Hilinski's death. Grief counselors were also on hand.
"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," the statement said.
The message went on to give the WSU Crisis Line number, 509-335-2159, and the staff and faculty Employee Assistance Program line at 1-877-313-4455.
Teammate defensive back Skyler Thomas, tweeted: "You brought smiles to the people around you. I am sorry I could not be there for you when you needed a smile yourself."
Michigan State University's (MSU) quarterback, Brian Lewerke, who had just met Hilinski at the Holiday Bowl last month, also reached out via Twitter:
"Unbelievable... had the chance to meet Tyler at the Holiday Bowl. Prayers up for his family and all of Washington State."