In this Dec. 11, 2011, file photo, Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher sits on the sidelines during the third quarter of a game against the New York Jets in East Rutherford, N.J. Police say Belcher fatally shot his girlfriend early Saturday in Kansas City, Mo., then drove to Arrowhead Stadium and committed suicide in front of his coach, general manager and other K.C. staff members.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher told officers who found him sleeping in his car outside an apartment complex hours before he committed a murder-suicide that he was there to visit a woman he described as his “girlfriend,” but that she wasn’t home.
The apartment complex is about 10 miles from the Kansas City home Belcher shared with 22-year-old Kasandra Perkins, the mother of their 3-month-old daughter Zoey. Belcher shot Perkins at their home Saturday morning before driving to Arrowhead Stadium, where he committed suicide in the practice facility’s parking lot, police said.
Police responded to a report about 2:50 a.m. on Saturday of a man sleeping in his car outside an apartment building, police spokesman Darin Snapp said Tuesday. When police approached the car, Belcher got out of the vehicle and was cooperative, Snapp said.
“We ask him ‘Why are you sleeping here?’, and he says he’s there to visit his girlfriend, but she’s not home,” Snapp said.
When police determined Belcher didn’t have any outstanding warrants, Snapp said Belcher, 25, made a phone call, and a short time later a woman let Belcher into her building. Police did not question the woman and don’t know who she is, he said.
“When he was sleeping she may have come home and he didn’t realize,” Snapp said. “He was very cooperative and thanked the officers.”
Snapp said that was the last contact police had with Belcher “until his name came up” with the shooting at his home. Witnesses have since told police that Belcher stayed at that apartment until 6:30 a.m., Snapp said.
At about 7:50 a.m., police were called to Belcher’s home after he had shot and killed Perkins, whose body was found on the floor of the master bathroom with multiple gunshot wounds, according to a police incident report.
Belcher then drove about five miles to Arrowhead Stadium, where he was met by general manager Scott Pioli and coach Romeo Crennel, who Belcher thanked for all they had done for him. When police arrived, Belcher moved behind a vehicle, out of clear view of officers, Snapp said. He said Belcher then knelt down and shot himself once in the head.
Kansas City Chiefs spokesman Ted Crews said Tuesday he wasn’t aware of what counseling efforts the team may have made for Belcher and Perkins, although the Chiefs said Tuesday they had been offering the player and his girlfriend extensive counseling before the shooting.
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.
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. 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.”
When Belcher heard police sirens approaching, he knelt behind a vehicle and shot himself in the head.
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. Detectives don’t know exactly what the couple was arguing about, but The Star reported that Belcher was upset that Perkins had stayed out so late.
Police spokesman Darin Snapp said Monday that Belcher’s mother was given temporary custody of the couple’s daughter.
Belcher played college football at the University of Maine, where he repeatedly was the subject of university police reports.
In April 2006, Belcher punched his fist through a dorm window after becoming upset over a woman, documents said.
And in February 2007, a noise complaint was lodged after “a discussion outside of his room” between Belcher and a woman. The report says “both stated that she was to contact him by 23:00 hours and did not. He became worried, and when she did show up he told her that he did not want to see her until the morning.”