The mother of Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher, who killed his girlfriend and committed suicide, said she still loves her son, in spite of the horrific events of the weekend.
“That’s my son,” Cheryl Shepherd told the Associated Press, “and I love him.”
Shepherd, who had been living with the couple to help care for their three-month-old daughter, said she felt the same way about Kasandra Perkins. “She’s my daughter-in-law, just like my daughter.”
Shepherd spoke briefly with an AP reporter after a recording of her 911 call was released. On the call, she can be heard pleading with Perkins to “stay with me” while an ambulance is en route and the couple’s baby can be heard crying in the background. From the Kansas City Star (listen to the tape here):
“Oh my God. Oh my God. Kasi,” Shepherd screams. “The baby is crying … Please get the ambulance here!”
“OK, we’re on the way, ” the dispatcher says. “We’ve been on the way the whole time. How old is the patient?”
“Twenty-two,” the mother says.
“Is she breathing?” the dispatcher asks.
“She is still breathing but barely. Please hurry. I don’t know how many times he shot her. They had been arguing …” Belcher’s mother says.
“OK, she’s been shot?” the dispatcher asks.
Then moments later the mother seemed to direct her shouts to the wounded woman in the home.
“You hear me? Kasandra! Hey!. Stay with me!”
“Ma’am,” the dispatcher says. “Listen. Is she awake?”
“She’s barely … she’s just barely. She is moving when I talk to her.”
“OK,” the dispatcher says.
“Oh, God,” the Shepherd says.
” Is she bleeding?” The dispatcher asks.
“Yes, she is ….”
The rest of the audio is obscured by the screams of the baby. Belcher had left the house and was headed for Arrowhead Stadium, where he shot himself in the head. Shepherd has temporary custody of the child.
“She was a lovely, beautiful young woman,” Shepherd said of Perkins, “and we had a beautiful relationship.”
More on the Belcher tragedy