Former NFL quarterback Erik Kramer is alive after shooting himself in an apparent suicide attempt Tuesday night in Calabasas, law enforcement sources and his ex-wife told NBC News.
Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies were making a welfare check at a motel around 8 p.m. when they found Kramer with gunshot wounds that were described as not life-threatening, a source told NBC News.
But Kramer's former wife, Marshawn Kramer, said her ex-husband's sister told her the injury is more serious than what they had been told by law enforcement sources.
Marshawn Kramer said she believes Kramer was trying to kill himself and that he has been suffering from depression for years as a result of the hits he suffered during a football career that included 10 years in the NFL.
"He's such a good dad and he would not do this to his son," she said. "This is brain injury."
She added: "He is a very amazing man, a beautiful soul, but he has suffered depression since he was with the Bears. I can promise you he is not the same man I married."
The couple, who split amicably in 2010, have a 17-year-old son. Another son died of a drug overdose at age 18 in 2011.
During his playing career Kramer spent three years with Detroit, leading the Lions to the NFC championship game during the 1991 season, and five with the Chicago Bears. In 1995 he set the Bears' single-season records for passing yards (3,838) and touchdown passes (29). Both records still stand.
Kramer also played for the Atlanta Falcons and San Diego Chargers. After his playing career ended in 1999, Kramer went on to work as an analyst for Fox and on Bears preseason broadcasts.