Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher killed himself in front of general manager Scott Pioli and coach Romeo Crennel today at the National Football League team’s Arrowhead Stadium after fatally shooting his girlfriend.
Belcher, 25, was “standing in the parking lot with a gun to his head” and talking to Pioli and Crennel when officers arrived at the team’s practice facility, Kansas City Police Department spokesman Darin Snapp said in a telephone interview.
“When officers started getting out of the car, he walked away about 20 or 30 feet and that’s when he shot himself,” Snapp said. “Pioli and the coach said they never felt in danger, he was pretty much thanking them for everything they’d done for him while he’d been a Chief.”
The Chiefs said on their website that tomorrow’s game at Arrowhead Stadium against the Carolina Panthers will be played as scheduled. Kansas City, which has the NFL’s worst record at 1-10, has lost eight straight games.
The NFL didn’t postpone any games in November 2007 after Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor was shot by an intruder in his Miami home. The NFL also went ahead with games in November 1963 just 48 hours after the assassination of President Kennedy, a move that former Commissioner Pete Rozelle later said was the biggest mistake of his career.
The league issued a statement today saying “our thoughts and prayers are with the Chiefs and the families and friends of those who lost their lives in this terrible tragedy.”
About 20 minutes before he went to the team’s practice facility, Snapp said, Belcher shot Kasandra Perkins, 22, with whom he had a 3-month-old daughter. Belcher’s mother, who lives at the home where the shooting occurred, called police.
The 6-foot-2, 228-pound Belcher was in his fourth season with the Chiefs, who signed him as a rookie free agent from the University of Maine in 2009.
The West Babylon, New York, native started 10 of the 11 games he played this season, making 38 tackles. He appeared in all 16 games each of his previous three seasons and totaled 257 tackles and one sack in his career.
Belcher led West Babylon High School on Long Island to an undefeated regular season in 2004 and also was a three-time All- American selection as a high school wrestler.
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