Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher fatally shot his girlfriend early Saturday morning before driving to Arrowhead Stadium and committing suicide, police said.
Police Capt. David Lindaman told The Kansas City Star that Belcher, 25, and 22-year-old Kasandra M. Perkins, with whom he has a 3-month-old daughter, got into a fight around 7 a.m. Fifty minutes later, Belcher shot his girlfriend multiple times. She was later transported to a hospital where she was pronounced dead a short while later.
Belcher's mother, who had recently moved in with the couple, witnessed the shooting and called 911, police spokesman Darin Snapp said.
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According to police, Belcher then drove to Arrowhead Stadium, where he came across general manager Scott Pioli, head coach Romeo Crennel and other Chiefs staff. Snapp told NFL.com that just before Belcher took his own life, he thanked Pioli and Crennel for all they had done for him. Pioli and Crennel never felt like they were in danger, Snapp said.
Law enforcement was called to the stadium at approximately 8:10. When they arrived, police heard a gunshot and discovered that Belcher had shot himself in the head outside the front doors to the stadium.
"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," Chiefs chairman and CEO Clark Hunt said in a statement. "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."
The NFL also offered condolences in a statement: "Our thoughts and prayers are with the Chiefs and the families and friends of those who lost their lives in this terrible tragedy. 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, a West Babylon, N.Y., native, played at the University of Maine. An undrafted free agent, he signed with the Chiefs in 2009 and started in 44 out of 59 games with them. He amassed a career-high 61 tackles last season and had recorded 33 thus far this season.
The Chiefs are currently still scheduled to play the Carolina Panthers at Arrowhead on Sunday.