WSU QB Hilinski's death ruled suicide

Washington State quarterback Tyler Hilinski's death was officially ruled a suicide by the Whitman County (Washington) Coroner's office on Thursday.

Hilinski, 21, was found dead Tuesday night in his apartment in Pullman, Wash. The Pullman police department issued a statement confirming his death and said that there was a suicide note and rifle near his body.

The official cause of death was a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, according to the coroner's office.

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Pullman police are interviewing those close to Hilinski in an effort to determine a potential reason for his suicide, according to Pullman police chief Gary Jenkins, who estimated the interviews would be done by next week.

The police went to Hilinski's apartment Tuesday to do a welfare check after the redshirt sophomore failed to show up for practice earlier in the day.

Hilinski was a backup for the Cougars but started the team's Holiday Bowl game against Michigan State last month. He completed 39 of 50 passes for 272 yards with two touchdowns and one interception in a 42-17 loss.

Hilinski was widely expected to be the starter heading into the 2018 season after ending last year 130-of-179 (72.6 percent) for 1,176 yards with seven TD passes and seven interceptions.

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SAN DIEGO, CA - DECEMBER 28: Washington State (3) Tyler Hilinski (QB) looks warms up prior to the kickoff during the Holiday Bowl game between the Washington State Cougars and the Michigan State Spartans on December 28, 2017 at SDCCU Stadium in San Diego, CA. (Photo by Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
PULLMAN, WA - SEPTEMBER 03: Tyler Hilinski #3 of the Washington State Cougars looks on prior to the game against the Eastern Washington Eagles at Martin Stadium on September 3, 2016 in Pullman, Washington. (Photo by William Mancebo/Getty Images)
PULLMAN, WA - NOVEMBER 05: Quarterback Tyler Hilinski #3 of the Washington State Cougars looks on from the sidelines in the second half against the Arizona Wildcats at Martin Stadium on November 5, 2016 in Pullman, Washington. Washington State defeated Arizona 69-7. (Photo by William Mancebo/Getty Images)
PULLMAN, WA - SEPTEMBER 16: Quarterback Tyler Hilinski #3 of the Washington State Cougars looks on in the second half against the Oregon State Beavers at Martin Stadium on September 16, 2017 in Pullman, Washington. Washington State defeated Oregon State 52-23. (Photo by William Mancebo/Getty Images)
PULLMAN, WA - OCTOBER 21: Tyler Hilinski #3 of the Washington State Cougars warms up from the sidelines in the second half against the Colorado Buffaloes at Martin Stadium on October 21, 2017 in Pullman, Washington. Washington State defeated Colorado 28-0. (Photo by William Mancebo/Getty Images)
TUCSON, AZ - OCTOBER 28: Quarterback Tyler Hilinski #3 of the Washington State Cougars looks to make a pass in the second half of the game against the Arizona Wildcats at Arizona Stadium on October 28, 2017 in Tucson, Arizona. The Arizona Wildcats won 58-37. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - DECEMBER 28: Washington State Cougars quarterback Tyler Hilinski (3) back to pass in the first half of the Holiday Bowl played against the Michigan State Spartans, on December 28, 2017, played at SDCCU Stadium in San Diego, CA. (Photo by John Cordes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - DECEMBER 28: Tyler Hilinski #3 of the Washington State Cougars passes the ball against the Michigan State Spartans during the first half of the SDCCU Holiday Bowl at SDCCU Stadium on December 28, 2017 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - DECEMBER 28: Washington State Cougars quarterback Tyler Hilinski (3) takes the snap from the shotgun in the fourth quarter of the Holiday Bowl played against the Michigan State Spartans, on December 28, 2017, played at SDCCU Stadium in San Diego, CA. (Photo by John Cordes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
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"We are deeply saddened to hear the news of Tyler's passing," Washington State coach Mike Leach said in a statement Tuesday. "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."

A native of Claremont, Calif., Hilinski went to Upland High School in southern California before spending three years in Pullman.

--Field Level Media

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