Chiefs knew of couple's problems

Updated: December 4, 2012, 4:56 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Kansas City Chiefs officials knew that linebacker Jovan Belcher and his girlfriend were having relationship problems, and the team provided the couple with counseling in an effort to help, a police official said.

Belcher fatally shot Kasandra Perkins, 22, at their Kansas City home Saturday before shooting himself in the head in the Arrowhead Stadium parking lot in front of team officials who were trying to stop him, including general manager Scott Pioli and coach Romeo Crennel.

Police Sgt. Richard Sharp told The Kansas City Star for a Tuesday story that the couple had been arguing over relationship and financial issues for months and that the team had been "bending over backward" trying to help them. Sharp didn't specify how long the couple had been undergoing counseling.

The night before the killings, Perkins had attended a concert downtown with friends and Belcher had been out at the Power and Light District, police said, while Belcher's mother was watching their 3-month-old baby.

At about 3 a.m. local time Saturday, police received a call about a suspicious person sleeping in a car outside an apartment building on Armour Boulevard, Kansas City police spokesman Darin Snapp told ESPN. When police arrived, they found Belcher sleeping in his Bentley.

Police determined he had been drinking, but according to the Star, Belcher told them he was waiting for his girlfriend to come home. Police asked him to call to see if she was home, and he did. A short time later, police told the newspaper, a woman came to the door and police allowed Belcher to enter the apartment with her. Police said that he had not committed any crimes and did not appear to be inebriated.

Two women who lived at the apartment complex told police that Belcher stayed there until 6:30 a.m. He had asked them to wake him so he would not be late for a team meeting. Belcher then went to the home on Crysler Avenue that he shared with Perkins.

Belcher's mother heard arguing and then gunshots, police told the newspaper. A source told the Star that Perkins was shot nine times. Belcher kissed Perkins on the forehead and apologized to her seconds after fatally shooting her, the Star reported. Belcher then reportedly apologized to his mother, kissed his 3-month daughter, and left his home.

When Belcher arrived at Arrowhead on Saturday, he encountered Pioli in the parking lot and told him the assistance the team had offered hadn't fixed the couple's problems and now "it was too late," Sharp said.

Pioli tried to persuade Belcher to put down his gun as Crennel and linebackers coach Gary Gibbs arrived at the scene.

Belcher thanked the men for everything the team had done for him and asked if Pioli and team owner Clark Hunt would take care of his daughter, The Star reported.

After that, Belcher reportedly said, "Guys, I have to do this."

"I was trying to get him to understand that life is not over," Crennel said Monday. "He still has a chance and let's get this worked out."

When Belcher heard police sirens approaching, he knelt behind a vehicle and shot himself in the head.

Investigators believe Belcher killed himself because he was distraught over shooting Perkins, Sharp said.

"He cared about her," Sharp said. "I don't think he could live with himself."

Autopsies with toxicology tests were performed on both bodies but it could be weeks before results are known, police said. Police also revealed Tuesday that two guns were used in the crimes, one at the home and one in the parking lot, and that both had been bought locally within the past few years.

Snapp said Monday that Belcher's mother was given temporary custody of the couple's daughter.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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