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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

DWilly 1 year, 9 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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ebyrdstarr 1 year, 9 months ago

There's no one right thing to do. And isn't it possible that what the coaches and players most need is to have something to do tomorrow? Something they can focus on so they don't have to spend all day dwelling on what happened?

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jhawkinsf 1 year, 9 months ago

They didn't cancel games when JFK was killed. They're not going to do it now.

A very sad thing all around. Best wishes to all loved ones.

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password 1 year, 9 months ago

how do you even compare JFK's assanation to this? this is a team member who was a vital part of the Chiefs' defense. sure they've had a bad season but still he was a teammate. they should postpone the game out of respect for the families and friends that are affected by this.

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parrothead8 1 year, 9 months ago

It's very clear that you weren't alive when JFK was assassinated, or you would understand the comparison.

As ebyrd said...there's no one right thing to do. However, what we know is that the game WILL go on, so let's hope the Chiefs make the best of it, play hard, and do something to honor the memory of the murder victim (and perhaps ensure a decent future for a little girl who now has no living parents.)

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lunacydetector 1 year, 9 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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password 1 year, 9 months ago

yes- that too... thank you for adding that.

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rockchalker52 1 year, 9 months ago

Play the game & celebrate life.

2

maybeso 1 year, 9 months ago

My heart is breaking for his mom.

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Steve Jacob 1 year, 9 months ago

Her mom saw her daughter killed and has to raise a three month old, so I hope the Chiefs take care of them both, much like the Carolina Panthers took care of Rae Carruth's child.

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Nikonman 1 year, 9 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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kawrivercrow 1 year, 9 months ago

I totally agree. thank you for having the balls to say the truth. It probably won't be well-received in an environment where anything not politically correct is automatically labeled as incorrect

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ebyrdstarr 1 year, 9 months ago

I"m sure if your brother or one of your best friends did this, you'd immediately write him off as an Evil SOB and never mention him again. You wouldn't feel at all conflicted between being angry at him and missing him and feeling horrible yourself that you couldn't see it coming or stop it somehow. 'Cause life is absolutely that black and white and clear at all times.

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kawrivercrow 1 year, 9 months ago

RE: vertigo and byrdstarr - Flying into a rage and pumping a young female full of bullets, even the mother of your own child, is not a mental illness.

I think that this false idolatry of pseudo-heroes who do nothing but play childrens' games for a living is definitely a mental weakness.

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ebyrdstarr 1 year, 9 months ago

I didn't say one word about mental illness. What I said was it isn't so simple as he's an evil SOB and those who cared him, worked with him, loved him, etc., will never mention him again and feel no sorrow about losing him. None of this thread has had any hint of idolizing football players, either. Please don't project your own false assumptions on to my comments.

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kawrivercrow 1 year, 8 months ago

Well, then I expect you to express the same maudlin hyperbole about the brothers and best friends of every other murderer you read about in every other newspaper for the rest of your life. After all, they all deserve the same sentiments as these football players you don't idolize, either, don't they?

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ebyrdstarr 1 year, 8 months ago

Yes, they do. And, yes, I always feel sympathy and understanding for the friends and family members of people who commit horrible crimes. People like you would make them feel like bad people for having the nerve to still love the person they've loved all their lives. I think that's awful. Just how lacking in humanity must one be to fail to understand that tragedy and crimes like this will necessarily bring out conflicting emotions in those who were close to the perpetrator?

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kawrivercrow 1 year, 8 months ago

You can regurgitate the same drivel about every rape, murder, beating and robbery that ever occured on the planet.

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kawrivercrow 1 year, 8 months ago

Vertigo: Thanks for the link to the comprehensive review provided by the UK news site. Even though I had considered and dismissed any significant role of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in this case (age 25, short career), I was not aware of the other concurrent mitigating factors that played a role in this tragedy. In all honesty, much of my initial emotional response was in opposition to the near-universal mindset that establishes a separate and lower standard of behavior for sports celebrities, not on the details of this individual case.

After reviewing the additional information, I do understand how the additive effects of alcohol, prescription narcotics, a rapid onset of fame and fortune and a new wife and child (especially a wife with vengeful threats of destroying the whole house of cards), could trigger such an unexpected outcome (with or without CTE). I do concede that this was out of character for Belcher, and I believe his actions at the practice facility demonstrate a greater underlying character I was otherwise unaware of.

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Bladerunner 1 year, 9 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.......

0

Briseis 1 year, 8 months ago

Lost a hundy. I thought with all the dour press the Chefs would collapse.

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jonas_opines 1 year, 8 months ago

Lose a hundred, lose two lives. At least we know where your priorities are.

Or, at least, the limits of your restraint.

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50YearResident 1 year, 9 months ago

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

2

Ron Holzwarth 1 year, 8 months ago

I had thought the same, looked it up, and wrote a response. Then I looked a bit closer, and discovered that you can be deceased and be accused within this non-legal definition:

accused (verb): arraigned, brought charges, charged, complained of, filed charges, have charges against, held responsible, impeached, indicted

"held responsible" would apply here.

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Gareth 1 year, 9 months ago

Typical of Journal-World "We Hire KU J-School Interns" quality, however.

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msezdsit 1 year, 9 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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Nikonman 1 year, 8 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..

4

oldbaldguy 1 year, 8 months ago

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

1

ferrislives 1 year, 8 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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