Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
FILE - In this Dec. 11, 2011, file photo, Kansas City Chiefs' Jovan Belcher sits on the sidelines during the third quarter of the NFL football game against the New York Jets in East Rutherford, N.J. Police say Belcher fatally shot his girlfriend early Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, in Kansas City, Mo., then drove to Arrowhead Stadium and committed suicide in front of his coach and general manager. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)
NFL: Police say Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher killed girlfriend, then self
NFL » Linebacker shot himself at Kansas City stadium.
First Published Dec 01 2012 10:39 am • Last Updated Dec 07 2012 10:23 pm

Kansas City, Mo. • Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher killed his girlfriend Saturday morning and minutes later, holding a gun to his head, thanked his general manager and coach before shooting himself outside the team’s practice complex.

Authorities did not release a motive for the murder-suicide, though police said that Belcher and his girlfriend, 22-year-old Kasandra M. Perkins, had been arguing recently. The two of them have a 3-month-old girl who was being cared for by family.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Belcher thanked general manager Scott Pioli and coach Romeo Crennel before pulling the trigger, police spokesman Darin Snapp said. Officers had locked down the Chiefs facility by midmorning.

The team said it would play its home game against the Carolina Panthers as scheduled on Sunday at noon local time "after discussions between the league office, Head Coach Romeo Crennel and Chiefs team captains."

A spokesman for the team told The Associated Press that Crennel plans to coach on Sunday.

Belcher was a 25-year-old native of West Babylon, N.Y., on Long Island, who played college ball at Maine. He signed with the Chiefs as an undrafted free agent, made the team and stayed with it for four years, moving into the starting lineup. He had played in all 11 games this season.

"The entire Chiefs family is deeply saddened by today’s events, and our collective hearts are heavy with sympathy, thoughts and prayers for the families and friends affected by this unthinkable tragedy," Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt said in a statement.

"We sincerely appreciate the expressions of sympathy and support we have received from so many in the Kansas City and NFL communities, and ask for continued prayers for the loved ones of those impacted," Hunt said. "We will continue to fully cooperate with the authorities and work to ensure that the appropriate counseling resources are available to all members of the organization."

The NFL released a statement that also expressed sympathy and said, "We have connected the Chiefs with our national team of professional counselors to support both the team and the families of those affected. We will continue to provide assistance in any way that we can."

Authorities reported receiving a call Saturday morning from a woman who said her daughter had been shot multiple times at a residence about five miles from the Arrowhead Stadium complex. The call came from Belcher’s mother, who referred to the victim as her daughter, leading to some initial confusion.


story continues below
story continues below

"She treated Kasandra like a daughter," Snapp said. Belcher’s mother, who is from New York, had recently moved in with the couple, "probably to help out with the baby," Snapp said.

Police then received a phone call from the Chiefs’ training facility.

"The description matched the suspect description from that other address. We kind of knew what we were dealing with," Snapp said. The player was "holding a gun to his head" as he stood in front of the front doors of the practice facility.

"And there were Pioli and Crennel and another coach or employee was standing outside and appeared to be talking to him. It appeared they were talking to the suspect," Snapp said. "The suspect began to walk in the opposite direction of the coaches and the officers and that’s when they heard the gunshot. It appears he took his own life."

The coaches told police they never felt in any danger, Snapp said.

"They said the player was actually thanking them for everything they’d done for him," he said. "They were just talking to him and he was thanking them and everything. That’s when he walked away and shot himself."

At the home of Belcher’s mother on Long Island, relatives declined to talk to reporters. An SUV in the home’s driveway was flying a small Kansas City Chiefs flag.

The somber mood lightened somewhat as darkness fell, with music playing and people drinking from Styrofoam cups. Belcher’s family turned the front yard into a shrine, with a large poster of the player, an array of his trophies, and jerseys and jackets from Kansas City, Maine and West Babylon High.

"He was a good, good person ... a family man. A loving guy," said family friend Ruben Marshall, 42, who said he coached Belcher in youth football. He was stunned by the shooting and suicide. "You couldn’t be around a better person."



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Login to the Electronic Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.