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Archive for Saturday, December 1, 2012

Police: Chiefs’ linebacker Jovan Belcher accused in murder-suicide

In this Dec. 11, 2011, file photo, Kansas City Chiefs' Jovan Belcher sits on the sidelines during the third quarter of a game against the New York Jets in East Rutherford, N.J. Police say Belcher fatally shot his girlfriend early Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, in Kansas City, Mo., then drove to Arrowhead Stadium and committed suicide in front of his coach and general manager.

In this Dec. 11, 2011, file photo, Kansas City Chiefs' Jovan Belcher sits on the sidelines during the third quarter of a game against the New York Jets in East Rutherford, N.J. Police say Belcher fatally shot his girlfriend early Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, in Kansas City, Mo., then drove to Arrowhead Stadium and committed suicide in front of his coach and general manager.

December 1, 2012

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— Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher fatally shot his girlfriend Saturday, then drove to Arrowhead Stadium and committed suicide in front of his coach and general manager.

Authorities did not release a possible motive for the murder-suicide, though police said that Belcher and his girlfriend had been arguing recently. The two of them have an infant child.

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 Chiefs were scheduled to play the Carolina Panthers on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium. The Panthers were advised by the league to travel to Kansas City as planned, though no official announcement on the game itself had been made.

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 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.

"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," Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt said in a statement.

"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."

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.

Police then received a phone call from the Chiefs' training facility.

"The description matched the suspect description from that other address. We kind of knew what we were dealing with," Snapp said. The player was "holding a gun to his head" as he stood in front of the front doors of the practice facility.

"And there were Pioli and Crennel and another coach or employee was standing outside and appeared to be talking to him. It appeared they were talking to the suspect," Snapp said. "The suspect began to walk in the opposite direction of the coaches and the officers and that's when they heard the gunshot. It appears he took his own life."

The coaches told police they never felt in any danger, Snapp said.

"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."

Snapp described the girlfriend as in her early 20s and that she and the player had a child together. He said Belcher's mother told police they had recently been arguing.

Belcher is the latest among several players and NFL retirees to die from self-inflicted gunshot wounds in the past couple of years. The death of the beloved star Junior Seau, who shot himself in the chest in at his California home in May, sent shockwaves around the league.

Kansas City Mayor Sly James said that he spoke to Pioli after the incident, and while he refused to discuss the GM's emotional state, the mayor said Pioli was "extremely concerned that fans of this team are not disappointed and not left in the cold."

"I think they think there's an obligation to the people of this city, the fans of the team and the fans of the other team to play the game," James said.

The season has been a massive disappointment for the Chiefs, who were expected to contend for the AFC West title. They're just 1-10 and mired in an eight-game losing streak marked by injuries, poor play and fan upheaval, with calls for Pioli and Crennel to be fired.

The Twitter account for a fan group known as "Save Our Chiefs" recently surpassed 80,000 followers, about 17,000 more than the announced crowd at a recent game.

"The Oakland Raiders are empathizing with the Chiefs organization," the Chiefs' AFC West rivals said in a statement. "Our hearts are wounded by such an unimaginable tragedy in our NFL family."

Comments

ferrislives 1 year, 4 months ago

I must say that I'm pretty disappointed that the photo is of Belcher and not of Kasandra Perkins. I understand that people have different stances these types of horrendous acts, but the victims (including the baby) shouldn't be lost in this whole thing. Her name doesn't even appear in the article as far as I can see.

If you want to know more about her, here's a good article: http://www.kansascity.com/2012/12/02/3944960/friends-of-murder-suicide-victim.html

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oldbaldguy 1 year, 4 months ago

murderer and coward is all that can be said about him. orphaned a three month old.

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Nikonman 1 year, 4 months ago

Now I see that little monuments (Photos, Jearsys, Etc.) are being erected in His memory in his apparent home town of West Babylon Long Island, NY. Nobody seems to care about the poor woman he shot. They all seem to want to remember Him, not the Mother of his child. This is case of twisted, priorities on the part of his admirers..

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msezdsit 1 year, 4 months ago

What a terrible tragedy. Hard to feel sorry for this guy after taking the life of this young women. I would think crennel and pioli might be thinking, sorry he shot himself but wait minute, he could have shot me and pioli too. My thoughts and prayers are for the young lady. To cheat her out of her life is unspeakable.

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50YearResident 1 year, 4 months ago

"accused" is not the most apporiate word for this story.

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Bladerunner 1 year, 4 months ago

Evidently he killed her because he was mad she came home late from an event at the Midland Center.....Way to blow your 1.9 million a year salary, your life and your new babies life.......

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Nikonman 1 year, 4 months ago

On the TV news tonight I had the impression that they(reporters) considered Jovan Belscher the Victim or at least a Victim. The guy shot his girlfriiend several times while his child and girlfriend's mother were in the house. The best thing the Chiefs could do is not even mention that Evil SOB's name from now on. The only good thing he did is save the taxpayers the cost of a trial

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maybeso 1 year, 4 months ago

My heart is breaking for his mom.

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rockchalker52 1 year, 4 months ago

Play the game & celebrate life.

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lunacydetector 1 year, 4 months ago

if they cancelled the game it should be for the respect of the coach and general manager who had to witness this man taking his own life, for his girlfriend he murdered, and the parentless baby.

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DWilly 1 year, 4 months ago

I really hope the team and the league do the right thing and cancel this game. I don't see how you can have people at the stadium let alone expect the coaches and players to do their jobs the day after this happens. This game has zero playoff implications (not that such a thing truly matters) which means making up the game won't be an issue.

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Number_1_Grandma 1 year, 4 months ago

Unfortunately, this time of year, it is not surprising...

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