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Kansas City Chiefs player kills girlfriend, self

By Dave Skretta

AP Sports Writer

LAST UPDATED: 10:25 a.m. HST, Dec 01, 2012


KANSAS CITY, Mo. » Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher fatally shot his girlfriend today, then drove to Arrowhead Stadium and committed suicide in front of his coach and general manager.

Authorities did not release a possible motive for the murder-suicide, though police said that Belcher and Kasandra M. Perkins, 22, had been arguing recently. The two of them have a 3-month-old child.

Belcher thanked general manager Scott Pioli and coach Romeo Crennel before shooting himself in the parking lot of the team's practice facility, police spokesman Darin Snapp said. Police had locked it down by mid-morning and reporters were confined to the street just outside the gates.

The Chiefs were scheduled to play the Carolina Panthers on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium. The Panthers were advised by the league to travel to Kansas City as planned, though no official announcement on the game itself had been made.

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 an undrafted free agent, made the team and stayed with it for four years, moving into the starting lineup. He'd 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."

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 away from the Arrowhead complex. The call actually came from Belcher's mother, who referred to the victim as her daughter, leading to some initial confusion, police 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."

Snapp described the girlfriend as in her early 20s and that she and the player had a child together. He said Belcher's mother told police they had recently been arguing.

Belcher is the latest among several players and NFL retirees to die from self-inflicted gunshot wounds in the past couple of years. The death of the beloved star Junior Seau, who shot himself in the chest in at his California home in May, sent shockwaves around the league.

Kansas City Mayor Sly James said that he spoke to Pioli after the incident, and while he refused to discuss the GM's emotional state, the mayor said Pioli was "extremely concerned that fans of this team are not disappointed and not left in the cold."

"I think they think there's an obligation to the people of this city, the fans of the team and the fans of the other team to play the game," James said.

The season has been a massive disappointment for the Chiefs, who were expected to contend for the AFC West title. They're just 1-10 and mired in an eight-game losing streak marked by injuries, poor play and fan upheaval, with calls for Pioli and Crennel to be fired.

The Twitter account for a fan group known as "Save Our Chiefs" recently surpassed 80,000 followers, about 17,000 more than the announced crowd at a recent game.

"The Oakland Raiders are empathizing with the Chiefs organization," the Chiefs' AFC West rivals said in a statement. "Our hearts are wounded by such an unimaginable tragedy in our NFL family."

Associated Press Writer Heather Hollingsworth contributed to this report.

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SteveToo wrote:
A true "hero". Should left girlfriend out of the problem and just killed self.
on December 1,2012 | 09:10AM
johncdechon wrote:
I agree...why does trash like this ALMOST ALWAYS have to take other people with him? What a complete LOSER.
on December 1,2012 | 09:12AM
honopic wrote:
Walk a mile in his shoes. Who are you to call a dead man "trash" and "loser" when you pobably didn't even know his name when you woke up this morning? You're almost as ignorant as "serious." And just as cold-hearted.
on December 1,2012 | 02:37PM
bobbob wrote:
um, he's a loser. If you want to take yourself out, fine. But what gives you the right to kill others as well for your grief. Example: Say your wife's brother is going through rough times: What gives him the right to kill your wife, your kids, their parents and anyone else before taking his own life. I think you're the ignorant and "cold-hearted" one.
on December 1,2012 | 08:44PM
ezridah wrote:
very selfish of him to take another life too
on December 1,2012 | 10:30AM
serious wrote:
In Chicago, or Detroit or DC, Obama territory, this would not be news. Happens every day. We live in a world of violence and the thing is the Afro Americans do crimes because they are deprived by the 1%--here's a guy making over a million $ a year and I am sure the media will put him in the deprived class!!
on December 1,2012 | 11:03AM
honopic wrote:
What a depraved, racist response to a tragedy that could have happened to anyone under pressures you know nothing about. "Obama territory?" Deal with this, wacko: the entire USA is Obama territory. We're all in this together, and some are in deeper trouble than others. Junior Seau was not "Afro American" (sic) nor deprived, but who knows what demons drove him to his death? Have some sympathy, or at least empathy. Better yet, quit posting. It may not bring peace to those hurt by this horrible situation, but it will save the rest of us your sanctimonious drivel.
on December 1,2012 | 02:33PM
bobbob wrote:
I dont agree with the other poster's remarks. But the dude that killed his girlfriend and himself is a loser, and so are you for defending him. I'm sure you'd be singing a different tune if it was your loved ones that were killed. Drivel.... pot. kettle. black.
on December 1,2012 | 08:47PM
IAmSane wrote:
Down syndrome hit you kind of hard, huh?
on December 1,2012 | 04:10PM
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