© 2024 Kansas City Public Radio
NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Chiefs Linebacker Kills Girlfriend, Self

Laura Ziegler

Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher shot his girlfriend multiple times around 8 a.m. Saturday, drove to the team's training facility, thanked coaches for supporting him, walked away and shot himself in the head, police said.

Dead are Belcher, 25, and his girlfriend, Kassandra Perkins, 22.

Belcher and Perkins had been living together on Crysler Avenue in Kansas City, Missouri.  They have a three-month-old child. Belcher's mother was there visiting.

Police say they got a call from Mrs. Belcher around 8 a.m.  When they arrived the mother told them her son and Perkins had been arguing and that Belcher had shot the girl several times.

Police took Perkins to the hospital, where she subsequently died.

Not long after the call from Crysler Avenue, officers were called to the Chiefs Training Facility adjacent to Arrowhead Stadium.  They found Belcher holding a gun to his head, talking with General Manager Scott Pioli and head coach Romeo Crennel.  Police later said the officials thought they had talked Belcher down, but then they saw him walk away and shoot himself while they looked on.

Investigators were talking to Chiefs officials and witnesses to gather more information.

Kansas City Mayor Sly James came to the scene about noon Saturday. Talking to reporters, James said that now the focus must be on mourning with Belcher's family and teammates.  He also said the recent Chiefs-bashing was a reflection of misplaced priorities. The poor performance of a football team, James said,  should not take on more significance than a city's problems with crime, struggling schools, or homelessness.

A joint statement from the NFL and the Chiefs said Sunday's noon game will go on as planned.

I partner with communities to uncover the ignored or misrepresented stories by listening and letting communities help identify and shape a narrative. My work brings new voices, sounds, and an authentic sense of place to our coverage of the Kansas City region. My goal is to tell stories on the radio, online, on social media and through face to face conversations that enhance civic dialogue and provide solutions.
KCUR serves the Kansas City region with breaking news and award-winning podcasts.
Your donation helps keep nonprofit journalism free and available for everyone.