On Saturday, Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher killed his girlfriend in their home and then, in front of coaches at the Chiefs' practice facility, fatally shot himself. Today, Kansas City police say that Belcher shot himself as police approached.
Belcher, 25, shot 22-year-old Kasandra Perkins—who had given birth to their daughter nearly three months ago—early on Saturday. Some reports suggest that Belcher was upset about Perkins attending a Trey Songz concert and arriving home at 1 a.m. Hours later, Belcher went to the training facility and thanked coaches, who pleaded with him not to commit any more violence, before killing himself. According to the Kansas City Star, "Officers arrived and noted the presence of several people in the parking lot outside the facility’s entrance. Police said that as the officers approached, a man later identified as Belcher observed them and “moved to an area behind a vehicle. From that position, Belcher shot himself.”
The baby, Zoey Michelle, was apparently in another room when Belcher killed Perkins. She will be raised by Belcher's mom in West Babylon, Long Island, where Belcher grew up. A cousin of Belcher's told the Daily News, "No one knows what happened but them two. I really wish he would have said something to someone."
Deadspin spoke to a friend of Belcher's who said the couple had been separated but recently reconciled: "The friend described Belcher as a young man whipsawed between football-related head trauma and ongoing substance abuse, and the source speculated that a 'combination of alcohol, concussions, and prescription drugs,' mixed with domestic problems, led to Belcher's murder of Perkins and his subsequent suicide."
The friend added "that Belcher 'drank ALOT. On a nightly basis' and was using medication heavily. He described both Belcher and Perkins as 'very young and immature,' which 'combined with other factors led to this tragedy.'" And Perkins' cousin told Newsday that the couple's relationship was not healthy.
Belcher's family told TMZ, "As a family, no words can express the sorrow we feel over the loss of Jovan and Kasandra. The impact that this inconceivable tragedy has had on our heart is immeasurable; we are overwhelmed with both sadness and confusion."