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. 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.
The team holds a voluntary service each week, usually attended by 10 or so players. On this night, every Chiefs player, even those on injured reserve and the practice squad, congregated to pray and listen to remarks by team chairman Clark Hunt and general manager Scott Pioli, neither of whom usually attends or speaks at the service.
It was a service full of love — a word not often expressed among NFL teammates — and a way for players to grieve and try to understand what had happened that morning. Jovan Belcher, a four-year veteran they knew as a passionate leader on the field and a good friend off it, had turned into a killer who fatally shot his girlfriend at their home before committing suicide in the parking lot of the team facility.
The affable Crennel’s second gig as a full-time NFL head coach began with a 16-point home loss to Atlanta and an 18-point road loss to Buffalo. The victory over the Saints provided hope, but that quickly gave way to despair. The nine-game skid included several close defeats, including to Pittsburgh in overtime and to Baltimore by three.
In Week 11, the Bengals rolled the Chiefs, 28-6, in Arrowhead. That was followed with a competitive game against Denver, losing at home, 17-9. Then came the tragedy and the surreal defeat of Carolina.
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.
At about 3 a.m. local time Saturday, police received a call about a suspicious person sleeping in a car outside an apartment building on Armour Boulevard, Kansas City police spokesman Darin Snapp told ESPN. When police arrived, they found Belcher sleeping in his Bentley.
Police determined he had been drinking, but according to the Star, Belcher told them he was waiting for his girlfriend to come home. Police asked him to call to see if she was home, and he did. A short time later, police told the newspaper, a woman came to the door and police allowed Belcher to enter the apartment with her. Police said that he had not committed any crimes and did not appear to be inebriated.
There’s no playbook for this sort of grieving. A Chiefs player killed his girlfriend – the mother of their infant child – then turned the gun on himself in front of the head coach and the general manager. The second half of the murder-suicide took place at the team’s training complex, right next door to Arrowhead Stadium.
The next day, the Chiefs reported for work in that very stadium for a game against Carolina. Won it, too, for just their second victory of the season. Afterward, everyone talked about the cathartic effect of taking the field – as a team, as a family – in the face of such a heinous act.
Patrick Allen is VP of Content for the FanSided Network. He also serves the managing editor of the network's very first site, Arrowhead Addict. Originally from Ohio, Patrick is a Chiefs fan first and a Browns fan second (I know!). He also pulls for the Buckeyes, Indians and Cavs. Guinness is thinking of naming him the most miserable sports fan of all time. @rpatrickallen
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