Many are left to pick up pieces after tragic deaths

Jovan Belcher killed his girlfriend and himself. AP
Jovan Belcher killed his girlfriend and himself. AP (AP)
Posted: December 03, 2012

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - People were coming and going on Sunday from the house where, a day before, Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher shot and killed his girlfriend before committing suicide in front of his coach, general manager, and defensive coordinator at the team's training facility.

Around the time the Chiefs were playing the Carolina Panthers at Arrowhead Stadium about five miles away, two men loaded bags into a car and two women drove away.

Police did not release any additional information about the murder-suicide.

The New York Post reported that Belcher shot 22-year-old Kasandra M. Perkins nine times Saturday morning before driving to the stadium. Belcher reportedly thanked Chiefs GM Scott Pioli and coach Romeo Crennel for all they had done for him, then fatally shot himself in the facility's parking lot in front of Pioli, Crennel, and defensive coordinator Gary Gibbs.

After the game, Crennel admitted the pain and shock of what he had witnessed would stay with him a long time, but told reporters he would not take any questions about it.

Before the game, Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt offered his condolences to the families affected by the murder-suicide.

He said the Chiefs consulted with the NFL about whether to play the game as scheduled, but ultimately left it up to Crennel and the team captains to decide.

Crennel said he knew the players would be looking to him for strength.

"I felt like I would be able to handle it, and I knew I needed to be strong for the players in that locker room, and they needed to see a strong, individual leader," he said.

Belcher, a Long Island native, was in his fourth year with the Chiefs after making the team as an undrafted free agent out of Maine.

Belcher and Perkins had a 3-month-old daughter, Zoey, who is being cared for by family. The Chiefs intend to help start a foundation to help the infant.

Brianne York, a friend of Perkins, said the couple briefly lived apart last month but had gotten back together by Thanksgiving.

She said Perkins had gone to visit her family in Texas and briefly stayed with her cousin, who is married to Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles.

Belcher's mother, who had moved in with the couple, called 911 after her son shot Perkins in front of her. Kansas City police said 911 tapes aren't part of the public record in Missouri.

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