UPDATED 1:26 P.M. WITH VIDEO, FURTHER DETAILS
Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher shot and killed his 22-year-old girlfriend at their home in Kansas City, Mo., then shot and killed himself Saturday at the team’s practice facility near Arrowhead Stadium on Saturday morning.
Kansas City police have confirmed that the player was Belcher.
“The entire Chiefs family is deeply saddened by today’s events, and our collective hearts are heavy with sympathy, thoughts and prayers for the families and friends affected by this unthinkable tragedy,” Clark Hunt, chairman and CEO of the Chiefs, said in a statement. “We sincerely appreciate the expressions of sympathy and support we have received from so many in the Kansas City and NFL communities, and ask for continued prayers for the loved ones of those impacted.
“We will continue to fully cooperate with the authorities and work to ensure that the appropriate counseling resources are available to all members of the organization.”
The Kansas City Star is reporting that the first shooting occurred at 7:50 a.m. local time and was witnessed by the girlfriend’s mother. In a separate report, the Star reports that Belcher and his girlfriend had argued “in the early morning hours after the woman was out late attending Friday’s Trey Songz concert” at a Kansas City venue, according to a friend of the girlfriend.
According to the Star, Belcher then went to the team’s practice facility near Arrowhead Stadium, about five miles away from the home, and, “after a confrontation with team personnel in which they attempted to stop the player from committing additional acts of violence, he shot himself. Police heard the single gunshot as they arrived at the scene.”
Citing a police spokesman, Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com reports that Cheifs Coach Romeo Crennel and General Manager Scott Pioli were outside the facility when Belcher took his own life. La Canfora also reports that, according to Kansas City police, “the player thanked both men before taking his life, and that Pioli and Crennel did not feel threatened.”
The Associated Press is reporting that Sunday’s game between the Chiefs and the Carolina Panthers in Kansas City will be played as scheduled.
Belcher, 25, has started 41 games over the last three seasons, including 10 of the Chiefs’ 11 games this season. He has 38 tackles this season, fourth most on the team.