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Crennel: “I wasn’t able to reach the young man”

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To cap an emotional and informative opening segment to Football Night in America, Peter King of Sports Illustrated supplied some new details regarding Saturday’s tragic events in Kansas City.

Citing a source close to law enforcement on the scene, King explained that Jovan Belcher and Chiefs G.M. Scott Pioli separately arrived at the parking lot outside the team’s facility, at approximately 8:00 a.m. local time.  Pioli noticed that Belcher seemed very upset.  Police say Pioli tried to calm him down.

At the same time, a Chiefs security officer saw that Belcher had a gun in his possession.  The security officer called police.

During a short conversation, Belcher thanked Pioli for giving him an opportunity as an undrafted free agent from Maine in 2009.  Belcher then asked Pioli to call coach Romeo Crennel and defensive coordinator Gary Gibbs so that he could thank them, too.

Crennel and Gibbs came outside, and Belcher thanked them profusely.  He wasn’t willing to talk to them or to be reasoned with.  Instead, he repeatedly thanked them.

“I wasn’t able able to reach the young man,” Crennel told King after the game, but Crennel declined to be specific about what Belcher had said.

Belcher then turned around, began to walk away and shot himself in the head.

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49 Responses to “Crennel: “I wasn’t able to reach the young man””
  1. tbd3 says: Dec 2, 2012 7:44 PM

    That’s awful. Truly awful. This story breaks my heart.

  2. kane337 says: Dec 2, 2012 7:47 PM

    OMG. Loss for words.

  3. flavordave says: Dec 2, 2012 7:48 PM

    This is the kind of thing that can torture ones soul. I wish Crennel the strength to pull through it.

  4. egomaniac247 says: Dec 2, 2012 7:51 PM

    What a terrible thing for any human being to have to witness. They will never be the same

  5. raiderspride says: Dec 2, 2012 7:54 PM

    I know it is a judgement call, and they were trying to help him, but…

    I do not get it. Belcher has a gun, and Pioli brings Crennel and Gibbs physically into the situation?

    Would it not safer for Pioli to get them on his cell phone and let them talk to Belcher over the phone?

  6. wingslax35 says: Dec 2, 2012 7:54 PM

    Just reading all the articles over the last two days, this young man was obviously distraught at what he had done, and possibly suffereing from some kind of mental instability. I can begin to think how Crennel, Pioli, and Gibbs all must feel. Just horrific.

  7. Stiller43 says: Dec 2, 2012 7:54 PM

    I appreciate all the details…but i find myself unaware of what actually should be released and what not to be released.

    Its an incredible tragedy that a 3 month old girl has to grow up without her parents. I think thats all that needs to be released.

  8. wingslax35 says: Dec 2, 2012 7:55 PM

    UGH, I mean I CANNOT begin to think how Crennel, Pioli, and Gibbs must feel.

  9. blacknole08 says: Dec 2, 2012 7:56 PM

    Wow… those last few sentences sent chills through me.

  10. spellingcops says: Dec 2, 2012 7:58 PM

    So incredibly sad. Thoughts & prayers are with that team.
    And congrats on the win. Hopefully it can numb some pain.

    Broncos fan

  11. thraiderskin says: Dec 2, 2012 8:01 PM

    It is ok Coach… Everyone knows you did all that you could have done, there was no stopping what happened.

  12. ytsejamer1 says: Dec 2, 2012 8:05 PM

    heartbreaking…for all involved. There’s no other word for it.

  13. Mr. Wright 212 says: Dec 2, 2012 8:13 PM

    I just cannot fathom what could have happened that caused him to do this.

  14. newenglandsports11 says: Dec 2, 2012 8:15 PM

    God bless him for trying. What a tragedy and hopefully Crennel, Gibbs and Pioli will recover someday.

  15. upperdecker19 says: Dec 2, 2012 8:16 PM

    What a horrific thing to have to witness. Big time respect to Romeo, Pioli and Gibbs. As that’s something no one should one should have tossed into their laps, nor be prepared for, in the workplace.

  16. bluefan204 says: Dec 2, 2012 8:18 PM

    Unbelieveable. How Crennel coached today is beyond me, because that is one image that no one should ever have to see. Prayers for all involved

  17. niners4life says: Dec 2, 2012 8:21 PM

    Very Sad. My prayers go out to the Chiefs organization.

  18. stopdk12 says: Dec 2, 2012 8:26 PM

    this is just a horrible story….

  19. mikealstott says: Dec 2, 2012 8:28 PM

    This is a mind blowing story….

  20. jbl429 says: Dec 2, 2012 8:30 PM

    wow. unreal and very sad.

  21. 1standinches says: Dec 2, 2012 8:31 PM

    This whole story is depressing, for someone to go off the deep in and then take their own life, prayers with everyone including the staff memeber in Cleveland who hung himself..

  22. skittlesareyum says: Dec 2, 2012 8:34 PM

    Pioli rightfully catches some flak for KC’s recent performances, but he did a brave thing willingly talking to someone armed with a gun.

  23. bearsoxass says: Dec 2, 2012 8:35 PM


  24. abjr says: Dec 2, 2012 8:38 PM

    Well, at least Belcher had a choice that he didn’t give his girlfriend.

  25. n0hopeleft says: Dec 2, 2012 8:53 PM


  26. jaltreality says: Dec 2, 2012 8:56 PM

    It’s just insane how tragedy results in a single moment, a single decision, and then grows uncontrollably into a tragedy. Very sad.

  27. knackstermyea says: Dec 2, 2012 8:58 PM

    Belcher took the cowards way out. Period.

  28. silverhornet says: Dec 2, 2012 9:02 PM

    fair to say we were all Chiefs fans today

  29. reddcowboys says: Dec 2, 2012 9:09 PM

    Just horrible situation.

  30. Caught Looking says: Dec 2, 2012 9:17 PM

    How sad for everyone that it had to come to that.

  31. southridge23 says: Dec 2, 2012 9:23 PM

    This gets more sad by the day.

  32. tharaidergang says: Dec 2, 2012 9:28 PM

    When I saw this on the news last night, I didn’t say a word for 10 minutes. I was shocked. What a tradegy. My prayers go out to the player and his girlfriends family.

    I speak on behalf of the Raider Nation. He may have been our enemy on the field, but at the end of the day, we are all human beings, and it is an unbelievable tragedy. RIP

  33. 7pints says: Dec 2, 2012 9:38 PM

    He murdered a young lady and left a baby parentless! Remember the real details!

  34. lazzzz says: Dec 2, 2012 9:41 PM

    So sad!

  35. 2ndaryinsanity says: Dec 2, 2012 9:43 PM

    While Belcher was obviously deeply disturbed, I feel no sympathy for him. But my heart breaks for all the people he hurt…for all the lives he destroyed.
    Crennel is a good man, and I hope he isn’t taking on any guilt…because there was nothing he, or anyone else could have done to change the outcome.

  36. pftcensorssuck says: Dec 2, 2012 10:03 PM

    I can’t imagine the horror of what those three men witnessed, and the anguish over being unable to reach him and stop him.

    He did the same with his own mother, making her witness the horror of murdering that yound woman.

    Tragic that he selfishly burned that memory into their minds.

  37. myspaceyourface says: Dec 2, 2012 10:06 PM

    I can’t imagine being a witness to this. I hope these guys don’t have nightmares over this.

    Such a selfish act to take someones life and then take your own.

    That 3 month old girl will deal with guilt her entire life. She will never understand this.

  38. kaferwerks says: Dec 2, 2012 10:14 PM

    What bothers me the most is Jason Whitlock using the opportunity to criticize gun control. How dare he imply that both would be alive if belcher didn’t have a gun. I guess all murder suicides are committed with handguns. The same result could have been achieved with an every day kitchen knife. Whitlock should have taken the opportunity to speak about mental health rather than bashing gun laws.

  39. rhodeislandpatriotsfan says: Dec 2, 2012 10:32 PM

    Romeo Crennel has conducted himself admirably during this difficult time. And a big thumbs up to NBC Sports’ “Football Night in America” analyst Rodney Harrison, who tonight put the emphasis on where it should be—i.e., the victims of this senseless tragedy.

  40. b1gwin says: Dec 2, 2012 10:38 PM

    Just sad! On that note though I just wish that people who feel like their lives arent worth living would keep their carnage within personal confines and not multiply it by including others.

  41. arlingtonsynn says: Dec 2, 2012 10:48 PM

    That is absolutely horrific…

  42. skoobyfl says: Dec 2, 2012 10:53 PM

    Prayers to all.

  43. bmac503 says: Dec 2, 2012 11:54 PM

    Feel such sorry for everyone involved. I pray for strength and peace and comfort during this time for these families. Pray that Gods love shines through.

  44. thegregwitul says: Dec 3, 2012 12:08 AM

    After reading this story, I had to take a moment to remember that Romeo Crennel and his football team coached and played in a football game earlier this afternoon, a little over twenty four hours after this tragedy took place.

    I understand the team captains got together and voted to play at the normal scheduled time, but maybe the NFL could have stepped in and postponed the game. I can’t speak for the players or coaches affected by this horrible situation, but I’m willing to guess that some of them are/were in shock, and could you blame them? Just an unreal situation, especially for Romeo. On Saturday morning he is trying to reason with a troubled player who committed a terrible crime, only to watch as this player ends his life, and then on the very next day, he has to be ready to lead his men, his football team, many whom are in shock, in a football game on a day unlike no other.

    My hat is off to you, Romeo Crennel. I hope you and your team get over this tragedy.

  45. dogfool4u says: Dec 3, 2012 1:44 AM

    Can’t tell you how aweful it is to be in this situation. Not long ago I lost my brother-in-law to a suicide. He shot himself in the head! His loss is felt all the more because none of us saw the signs of his anguish and we all wish we could have had the opportunity of helping him work through his problems. ( We now know what his concern was and believe me when I say they were nothing to a “sane” person but they were too much for him to bare. We still grieve, but we have to celebrate his life for all the “good” that was there. He is missed by all his friends and family and we try to keep that in mind all the time. I hope the Team, Coaches, Friends and Family can do the same!

  46. trippymane says: Dec 3, 2012 2:53 AM

    Wow. This is horrible. Couldn’t help but cheer for the Chiefs today don’t even know how they were able to play let alone win.

  47. badintent says: Dec 3, 2012 2:57 AM

    I hope Both the NFL and the NFLPA steps up and provides a living trust fund for that child and a include a full college scholarship so that she can have the chance to make a really good life for herself and her own family. The trust fund should provide for her relatives that raise her for a home in a good town with top schools and mental counseling for her to help her get through life when she is able to understand the tragic events that took her parents.

  48. florida727 says: Dec 3, 2012 10:44 AM

    Suicide is the most cowardly and selfish act a human being can perform. It’s actually the “easy” way out. The people it punishes (needlessly) are the ones left behind, like his coaches and family members. And what about the 3-month old who’ll learn later in life that her daddy murdered her mommy then killed himself, leaving her alone? They’re the ones left to pick up the pieces of a shattered life. They’re the ones that need the prayers and support.

  49. makeham98 says: Dec 3, 2012 11:44 AM

    Someone is bothered because a writer brought up the issue of gun control? Pathetic. And no mention of Costas making a similar statement? More likely bothered that Jason Whitlock was correct.

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