Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher shot and killed his girlfriend early this morning, then drove to the team facility and committed suicide in front of his coach and general manager, this is according to the Kansas City Police Department.
Police Capt. David Lindaman says that Belcher and his girlfriend, 22-year-old Kasandra Perkins -- who had just given birth to the couple's child three months earlier -- began arguing around 7:00 AM local time.
Lindaman says Belcher shot the woman multiple times and she was later pronounced dead at a local hospital. Police says the girlfriend's mother witnessed the shooting.
Police say Belcher left the scene and drove to the stadium where he was confronted by team personnel, including GM Scott Pioli and head coach Romeo Crennel. According to police, they tried to keep Belcher from committing additional acts of violence.
Just as police arrived on the scene, they heard a gunshot and discovered Belcher had shot himself in the head. Cops say before firing the shot, Belcher thanked Pioli and Crennel for all they had done for him.
The coaches told police they never felt as if they were in danger.
Belcher had been with the Chiefs for four seasons after being undrafted out of the University of Maine.
The Chiefs are scheduled to host the Carolina Panthers tomorrow. So far, the NFL has said that game will be played as scheduled.
The practice facility was quiet after police left around 10:30 a.m., with two security guards ensuring hordes of media stayed outside of its gates.
Kansas City Mayor Sly James, whom the Chiefs had called to inform of the incident, was the first to address the media.
While he declined to characterize Pioli's state of mind after Belcher thanked him and Crennel before killing himself, James said "he's very emotional about this."
"I can tell you that you have absolutely no idea of what it's like to see somebody kill themselves... "If you can take your worst nightmare and then put somebody you know and love into that situation and give them a gun and stand 3 feet away from them and watch them kill themselves, that's what it's like. It's unfathomable. It's something that you would love to wash away from your mind, but you can't do it. There's nothing like it. There's nothing like it. Think about your worst nightmare and multiply by five."
As for the Chiefs-Panthers game, it will go on as scheduled.
Kansas City Chiefs Chairman & CEO Clark Hunt released a statement saying,
"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. 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."
UPDATE: The day after the murder/ suicide, Kansas City won 27-21 against Carolina.