Kansas City Chiefs American football player Jovan Belcher fatally shot his girlfriend Kasandra Perkins early Saturday, then drove to Arrowhead Stadium and committed suicide in front of his coach and general manager after first thanking them for everything they had done for him, police said.
Authorities did not immediately release a possible motive for the murder-suicide, which stunned the team and came one day before a home game against the Carolina Panthers. The NFL said the game would go on as scheduled.
It has yet to be officially confirmed, but his dead girlfriend is believed to be Kasandra Perkins. On Facebook, a profile for Kasandra Perkins includes pictures of her with Jovan Belcher, whom she refers to as her boyfriend.
Jovan Belcher, 25, and his girlfriend had a baby less than three months ago on September 11.
The club confirmed that “an incident” had occurred at Arrowhead on Saturday.
“We are co-operating with authorities in their investigation,” it added.
Kansas City police spokesman Darin Snapp told AP news agency that authorities were told early on Saturday that a woman had been shot five miles away from the Arrowhead complex.
The victim was later identified as Belcher’s girlfriend.
Police were then called to the training facility, where they saw the player in a car holding a handgun to his head, talking to two Chiefs officials.
They then heard a gunshot.
Jovan Belcher was a native of West Babylon, N.Y., on Long Island, played college ball at Maine. He had played all four of his NFL seasons for the Chiefs and played in every game each year, including the 11 so far this season.
Before turning the gun on himself, Jovan Belcher thanked Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli and Romeo Crennel for all they had done for him, police spokesman Darin Snapp said.
Authorities received a call Saturday morning from a woman who said her daughter had been shot multiple times at a residence about five miles away from the Arrowhead complex.
“When we arrived, a lady informed us that her daughter had been shot multiple times by her boyfriend, by the daughter’s boyfriend,” Darin Snapp said.
“She identified him as a Chiefs player.”
Darin Snapp told KCTV5 that a call was then received from the Chiefs’ practice facility.
“The description matched the suspect description from that other address. We kind of knew what we were dealing with,” he said.
The player was “holding a gun to his head” as he stood in front of the front doors of the practice facility.
“And there were Pioli and Crennel and another coach or employee was standing outside and appeared to be talking to him. It appeared they were talking to the suspect,” Darin Snapp said.
“The suspect began to walk in the opposite direction of the coaches and the officers and that’s when they heard the gunshot. It appears he took his own life.”
The coaches told police they never felt in any danger, Darin Snapp said.
“They said the player was actually thanking them for everything they’d done for him,” he said.
“They were just talking to him and he was thanking them and everything. That’s when he walked away and shot himself.”
Darin Snapp described the girlfriend as in her early 20s and that she and the player had a child together. He said the woman’s mother told police they had recently been arguing.
Jovan Belcher is the second Kansas City Chiefs employee to be involved in a murder-suicide in the last four months.
On Labor Day, Luis Angel Roberson Rodriquez, who worked in the Chiefs stadium operations department, killed himself after shooting his girlfriend Jamie Kristine Kimble near the Tampa International Airport.