Washington State quarterback Tyler Hilinski on Tuesday was found dead in his apartment of an apparent suicide, Pullman (Wash.) police confirmed in a press release to Washington media outlets.
Police went to his apartment after the quarterback failed to show up for practice. The 21-year-old junior-to-be was found “deceased in the apartment with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head,” the police statement said. “A rifle was recovered next to Hilinski and a suicide note was found.”
“We are deeply saddened to hear the news of Tyler’s passing,” Washington State coach Mike Leach said in a statement released on Twitter. “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.”
Hilinski was the backup and heir apparent to star quarterback Luke Falk in 2017. Hilinski showed his potential on Sept. 9 in Pullman when he was 25-for-33 for 240 yards and three touchdowns with one interception against Boise State. He came off the bench that night to direct the Cougars’ comeback from 21 points down in the fourth quarter to a 47-44, triple-overtime win.
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Hilinski was from Claremont, Calif. He made his first career start last month in the Holiday Bowl loss to Michigan State.
IF SOMEONE YOU KNOW IS IN EMOTIONAL CRISIS
Call the Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.
Warning signs to watch for:
▪ Talking about wanting to die.
▪ Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live.
▪ Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain.
▪ Talking about being a burden to others.
▪ Increasing use of alcohol or drugs.
▪ Acting anxious, agitated or recklessly.
▪ Sleeping too little or too much.
▪ Withdrawing or isolating themselves.
▪ Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge.
▪ Extreme mood swings.
OTHER THINGS YOU CAN DO TO HELP
▪ Do not leave the person alone.
▪ Be direct. Talk openly and matter-of-factly about suicide.
▪ Listen. Allow expressions of feelings. Accept the feelings.
▪ Be nonjudgmental. Don’t debate. Don’t lecture on the value of life.
▪ Don’t act shocked. This will put distance between you.
▪ Don’t be sworn to secrecy. Seek support.
▪ Offer hope that alternatives are available but do not offer glib reassurance.
▪ Take action. Remove means, such as guns or stockpiled pills.
▪ Get help by calling the hotline or visiting Suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
Source: Suicide Prevention Lifeline