Police say 25-year-old Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher shot and killed his girlfriend Saturday morning then drove to the team’s Arrowhead Stadium and killed himself in front of his coach and general manager.
The girlfriend was 22-year-old Kasandra Perkins. She and Belcher had a 3-month-old daughter. Police have not released a motive for the shootings, but Belcher’s mother said her son and Perkins had been arguing recently, according to ESPN.
Police said the first shooting was reported at a Kansas City, Mo. home at approximately 8 a.m. Police spokesman Darin Snapp told the Associated Press that authorities received a call from a woman who said her daughter had been shot multiple times. The caller was actually Belcher’s mother, who had recently moved in with the couple, but referred to Perkins as her daughter.
The second shooting happened a short time later in a parking lot at the Chiefs training facility adjacent to Arrowhead Stadium. Snapp said police had received a second 911 call from the training facility.
“The description matched the suspect description from that other address. We kind of knew what we were dealing with,” he said.
Snapp said police witnessed a black male in a car holding a handgun to his head and talking to Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli and coach Romeo Crennel. That’s when officers heard a gunshot.
Belcher thanked Pioli and Crennel for what they had done for him before turning the gun on himself, Snapp said. He said the men told police they never felt they were in any danger.
“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.”
Chiefs chairman and CEO Clark Hunt said in a statement the entire organization was “deeply saddened” by the “unthinkable tragedy.”
“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. 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.”
A game Sunday between Kansas City and the Carolina Panthers at Arrowhead Stadium was still scheduled to go forward as planned.
This post has been updated.