NFL: Chiefs Linebacker Kills Girlfriend Then Takes Own Life
Tragedy hit the NFL and Kansas City on Saturday when Jovan Belcher a starting linebacker for the Kansas City Chiefs shot his live-in girlfriend, who later died, and then killed himself with a self-inflicted gunshot. Belcher was a 25-year old linebacker for the Chiefs and early Saturday morning shot and killed Kassandra Perkins in the home they shared. He then drove to the training facility of the Chiefs close to Arrowhead Stadium and killed himself when police arrived.
Authorities said they received a phone call from a woman who told them that her daughter had been shot several times at a residence only five miles from Arrowhead Stadium.
A police spokesman said that when Kansas City police arrived at the training facility and were exiting their vehicle, they heard a single gunshot. The police spokesman said that Belcher took his own life with a single shot to his head while he was near an entrance to the facility and talking to Romeo Crennel the team’s Head Coach and Scott Pioli the team’s General Manager.
Pioli and Crennel said at no time did Belcher threaten them or did they ever feel unsafe. Belcher allegedly shot Perkins, 22, multiple times. Belcher is said to have thanked both Crennel and Pioli prior to walking away from them and shooting himself in the head.
The local media announced that the couple had a daughter who was three months old and that Perkins’ mother was present at the home when Belcher shot her daughter and later called police.
Clark Hunt, the Kansas City Chiefs’ chairman issued a statement that read the entire Kansas City Chiefs family is grieve stricken by the events of today and are hearts are full of sympathy for the families the friends devastated by the unthinkable tragedy.
This season the Chiefs were just 1-10 heading into this weekend’s game at home versus the Charlotte Panthers. The Chiefs organization told officials at the NFL that they would play the game on Sunday as scheduled.
Belchers signed a free agent deal with Kansas City in 2009 after going through the draft undrafted. Last season he established his place in the starting lineup at linebacker and had played in all of the team’s 11 games thus far this season. He made 38 tackles in the first 11 games of the season.
Belcher started 44 out of the 59 games over the three and a half seasons he played for the Chiefs. Last season he had a career high number of tackles with 61. Early in the year, he signed a deal for one-year at $2 million.
Belcher is the latest NFL player who has committed suicide. This is amidst concerns that the long term dangers of multiple head injuries are creating medical problems for players after retirement.
Belcher was born and raised in West Babylon, New York, which is on Long Island. He played his college football at the University of Maine at Orono prior to signing with the Chiefs.
A former teammate, Raibonne Charles, at the University of Maine said Belcher played each game with passion and in life was the same way. He said he and Belcher had not spoken often since he started playing in the NFL, but everyone is completely in shock over what took place.