The horrific series of events that culminated with Jovan Belcher shooting himself at the Kansas City Chiefs’ facility in view of the team’s general manager and coach on Saturday began when the 25-year-old linebacker fatally shot Kasandra M. Perkins at a nearby residence.
The 22-year-old Perkins was Belcher’s girlfriend and the couple had a child in September. As it is said the child is now in the custody of Belcher’s mother, who witnessed the first shooting and called 911.
Authorities did not release a possible motive for the murder-suicide, though police said that Belcher and his girlfriend, 22-year-old Kasandra M. Perkins, had been arguing recently.
“Jovan was a happy, proud father, with pictures of his baby on his Facebook page. This is shocking,” said Belcher’s agent, Joe Linta, “Something went crazy wrong, and we’ll probably never know what it is.”
Perkins’ family was described as being in “utter shock” after the murder and talked about the young couple as having appeared very loving in the months leading up to this terrible incident.
Belcher had already killed his girlfriend and sped the short distance to Arrowhead Stadium, right past a security checkpoint guarding the entrance. Upon finding his bosses, 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 National Football League kept its fans updated on the situation via social media, particularly Twitter, where fellow NFL players turned to grieve and react to the deaths.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Chiefs and the families and friends of those who lost their lives in this terrible tragedy,” the NFL said in a statement that was also shared through tweets from @NFL. “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.”
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’d played in all 11 games this season. Belcher had been with the Chiefs since the 2009 season
CBS News reports, the drama unfolded early Saturday, when 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.
“She treated Kasandra like a daughter,” Kansas City police spokesman Darin Snapp said, adding that the woman had recently moved in with the couple, “probably to help out with the baby.”
Police then got a phone call from the Chiefs’ training facility, and Belcher’s description matched the suspect description from the initial address.
Snapp said officers pulled into the practice facility parking lot in a matter of minutes, in time to witness the suicide. The coaches told police they never felt in any danger.