About an hour before former University of Maine football standout and Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher shot and killed his girlfriend, he was found asleep by Kansas City police officers in his Bentley on Armour Boulevard, away from his home on Crysler Avenue, after an argument with his girlfriend the night before, according to the Kansas City Star.
After speaking with Belcher, officers determined that he was fit to drive home, but investigators believe alcohol may have been a factor that led to Belcher shooting girlfriend Kasandra Perkins. According to police, toxicology tests were performed during the autopsies of Perkins and Belcher, but the results will not be available for a few weeks.
Around 1 a.m. Saturday, Perkins returned home from having drinks with friends after a Trey Songz concert. Belcher, who had been partying at the Power and Light District, a neighborhood in downtown Kansas City, was upset because of her late arrival.
Around 7:50 a.m., Belcher’s mother, who was staying with her son to help watch his 3-month-old daughter while he and Perkins tried to resolve their recurring relationship issues, heard Belcher say to Perkins in their bedroom something to the effect of, “You can’t talk to me like that,” which was followed by gunfire.
Belcher’s mother rushed into the room and saw him lean over Perkins, say he was sorry and kiss her on the forehead. Perkins was later taken to the hospital and pronounced dead. Belcher then apologized to his mother, kissed his daughter and left the house for Arrowhead stadium.
While driving, “[he] probably realized he had done something and he couldn’t go back,” Kansas City Police Sgt. Richard Sharp said.
Upon arriving at the parking lot of the practice facility, Belcher saw Chiefs General Manager Scott Pioli, stepped out of his car with a gun pointed at his own head and according to police, said, “I did it. I killed her.”
Pioli and other members of the Chiefs organization were aware of Perkins and Belcher’s problems and had provided counseling for the couple.
Another Chiefs employee arrived in the parking lot while Pioli tried to convince Belcher to put his gun down. Belcher then thanked Pioli and asked if he and Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt would take care of his daughter.
Chiefs Head Coach Romeo Crennel and linebackers coach Gary Gibbs arrived in the parking lot and Belcher reportedly said, “Guys, I have to do this.”
“I was trying to get him to understand that life is not over,” Crennel told The Kansas City Star.
As police sirens were heard approaching the parking lot, Belcher took a few steps away with the gun still pointed at his head and said, “I got to go. I can’t be here.”
Belcher then knelt behind a vehicle, made the sign of the cross across his chest and shot himself in the head.
Belcher, who played for the Black Bears from 2005-08, went undrafted in 2009 before signing with the Chiefs. He accrued 198 tackles and one sack in more than three seasons. During his time at UMaine, Belcher participated in the domestic-violence awareness group Male Athletes Against Violence initiative and was on the committee that helped develop the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.