Monday, December 3, 2012

Jovan Belcher of Kansas City Chiefs kills girlfriend and then himself

Kansas City Missouri police reported on Dec. 1 that Kansas City Chiefs fourth-year player Jovan Belcher took his own life in front of the NFL team’s general manager and coach at the club’s training ground a few minutes after murdering his 22-year-old girlfriend. Police said the 25-year-old linebacker put a gun to his head in the presence of head coach Romeo Crennel and GM Scott Pioli shortly after 8 a.m.

It’s believed that Belcher shot Kasandra Perkins, his girlfriend, several times at their leased house and then drove over to the club’s practice facility. Police also said that Belcher’s mother saw him kill Perkins during a heated argument and she then alerted the police by calling 911. Perkins and Belcher had a three-month-old daughter. Police were called at approximately 7:50 a.m. and they found Perkins at home. She was rushed to a nearby hospital, but was pronounced dead shortly after arriving.

Twenty minutes after receiving the first call, police were called again to an incident at the Chiefs’ Arrowhead Stadium training complex. They were told there was a black male in the parking lot with a gun in his hand and he matched the description of Belcher. When police made it to the scene they saw him with a gun to his head and some of the team’s employees were also present. A police officer said he heard a gunshot when he stepped out of his patrol car and Belcher was taken to hospital where he also died.

Crennel, Pioli, and an unnamed member of the Chiefs staff were speaking with Belcher when he pulled the trigger. The employees said they didn’t feel like their own lives were ever in danger and Belcher even thanked them for everything they had done for him over the years. The Chiefs released an official press statement which said the entire franchise is saddened by the tragic event and offers its condolences to the families and friends of everybody involved in it. It also said the club appreciates all of the expressions of support and sympathy it has received and it will continue to pray for those who were impacted by the shootings. The NFL also released a statement which more or less said the same thing and said it will be providing professional counseling services to those who were affected.

Belcher played football at Maine University after growing up in Long Island, New York. He wasn’t selected when available in the draft in 2009 and signed with Kansas as a free agent. By 2011 he was a starting linebacker for the club. Kansas has a home game scheduled against the Carolina Panthers on Dec. 2 and the NFL told the Panthers they believe the game will go on as planned, but nothing official had been announced. Belcher had started in 10 out of the Chiefs 11 games this season and the fourth-year NFL player had registered a total of 38 tackles.

Ian Palmer
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