Police reports from the shooting of Kasandra Perkins and the suicide of Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher shined light on a relationship that was turbulent enough that the team was trying to counsel him long before last Saturday’s incident.
According to an in-depth report by Christine Vendel of the Kansas City Star, Belcher leaned over his dead girlfriend’s body seconds after he shot her, kissed her on the forehead and said he was sorry, before driving to the Chiefs facility where he’d kill himself in front of team officials.
Belcher’s mother, who was there to watch the couple’s 3-month old daughter and was in the kitchen when her son shot his girlfriend, apparently witnessed his goodbye to the woman he just killed.
That detail was among the troubling revelations about a relationship that had more problems than previously realized. According to Kansas City Police Sgt. Richard Sharp, the team knew about their issues and was “bending over backward” to help.
Apparently arguments over their relationship and financial issues boiled over Saturday morning, when they argued over Perkins staying out late after a concert. Belcher then apparently went out, eventually falling asleep in his car. Police officers sent him home after deeming him safe to drive, at which point the argument escalated.
According to police reports, Belcher’s mother heard him said something along the lines of “You can’t talk to me like that!” just before the gunfire.
That’s when he drove to the Chiefs facility and was met by general manager Scott Pioli. The report said Belcher stepped out of his car with a gun pointed at his head and said: “I did it. I killed her.”
When head coach Romeo Crennel and linebackers coach Gary Gibbs arrived, Belcher reportedly said, “Guys, I have to do this,” before stepping away.
“I was trying to get him to understand that life is not over,” Crennel told The Star. “He still has a chance and let’s get this worked out.’’
But when police sirens were heard, Belcher stepped away saying “I got to go. I can’t be here,” before kneeling behind a car, making the sign of the cross across his chest and shooting himself in the head.
“He cared about her,” Sharp said. “I don’t think he could live with himself.”
While the details of the police investigation can fill in some of the gaps of information, what happened Saturday morning may never be truly understood, and the pain may never recede from those who were close by when the tragedy unfolded.