Former Jets and Patriots defensive back Corwin Brown, who coached in the NFL and at Notre Dame as the school's defensive coordinator, was taken from his home Friday night with a self-inflicted gunshot wound after nearly a seven-hour standoff with police.
In a statement released to the media today, Brown's family attempted to explain what caused the 41-year-old Brown to spiral out of control during the standoff. The family said it believes head trauma from repeated blows during his football career may have been the cause.
The statement reads as follows:
"First, we would like to extend our heartfelt thanks for the many prayers and offers for help and assistance from family, friends, former teammates and coaches during this very difficult time for our family.
We truly are sorry for the events which unfolded Friday, August 12, 2011. The pain and suffering experienced by our family has been overwhelming the last few days, but we are relived and thankful that the outcome didn’t come to a tragic ending. We thank God and ask for his forgiveness.
We would also like to thank the members of St. Joseph County Police, J.T. and Sonny for their professionalism in handling the situation and helping to save Corwin’s life. He was not meant to leave us Friday, August 12.
Corwin inflicted the most serious harm to himself and his family with a gunshot wound, but thankfully, the bullet missed all vital organs. He finally cried for help, surrendered and prayed for forgiveness.
But there is a tragedy in this story which has unfolded over the last several years. Many are asking, what would cause a young man who has been blessed beyond all measure, with a life so promising that he would put himself and his family in harm’s way? We believe Corwin is suffering from symptoms similar to those experienced by the late Dave Duerson and were caused by the many notable collisions during Corwin’s career in the NFL. For those reasons, Corwin chose to not disclose his symptoms, as he did not want to bring shame to any coach, team, organization, or the NFL.
We can no longer remain silent and we believe it is important that his former teams, teammates, coaches and the NFL to understand the severity of this situation. As a result, we have reached out to neurologist Dr. Robert Cantu in Boston to request a consultation with Corwin and our family. We are hopeful that we can connect soon and he will agree to help Corwin and our family. Certainly, we realize there will be a significant financial cost to bear, and we offer our plea for help.
Corwin loved his profession and was one of the best at his position.
He enjoyed playing for some of the greatest coaches of all times, Dr. J.W. Smith of Julian High School in Chicago; Bo Schembechler who coached Corwin at University of Michigan; and Bill Parcells while he was at the New England Patriots and New York Jets. Corwin’s dream was to one day become a head coach, so he could give back to a game that gave him so much.
It was Bill Parcells who stated in a 1999 New York Daily News article that Corwin had a bright future in coaching, "He's been in the foxhole with me for a long time," said Parcells. "He's a real special guy.”
The Corwin we know and love is gifted intellectually and athletically and loves his family. We remember him going to the University of Michigan motivated to be a “Michigan Man,” energetic and full of laughter, then returning from the NFL not trusting, suspicious, distant, gloomy, exhausted and depressed.
Corwin helped so many people over the years, and now we pray for help in his time of need. We pray for his healing and recovery. We pray for those who may have answers to please come forth and help our family. We pray that his former teams and the league that he adored hear our cries and provide assistance. Most of all we pray for studies to better understand and prevent this from happening to another player, as well as current families dealing with the same situation.
Finally, we ask for the media to respect our privacy as we seek support for Corwin and our family with coaching and counseling. We plan to make no other statement on this issue, until we better understand the nature of Corwin’s symptoms.
God kept Corwin Brown here for a reason and we pray we find that reason. Please keep Corwin, Melissa, Corwin Jr., Tayla and Jaedan in your prayers.
The Brown Family"