In the hours before Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher killed himself and girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins, police say he was found sleeping in his car outside of an apartment complex miles away from the home he shared with Perkins. When questioned, Belcher told police that he was waiting for his “girlfriend” who wasn’t home at the time.
Later that morning, Belcher, 25, would return home to shoot and kill Perkins after arguing with her. Immediately after the shooting he reportedly apologized and kissed Perkins on her forehead before driving to Arrowhead Stadium, where he fatally shot himself in the parking lot after thanking the team’s general manager Scott Pioli and coach Romeo Crennel.
Belcher’s mother, Cheryl Shepherd, was at the couple’s home at the time of the shooting. She had recently come from Long Island, New York, to help the couple care for their new baby and work through their issues. In a recently released 911 tape, Shepherd can be heard pleading with Perkins as she lay dying on the floor of the couple’s bathroom.
"Kasandra, stay with me," Shepherd says on the tape. "The ambulance is on the way. You hear me? You hear me? Kasandra! Stay with me."
The story comes as police try to piece together what may have driven the young football star to commit the crimes.
"He probably realized he had done something and he couldn’t go back,” Police Sgt. Richard Sharp told the Kansas City Star.
Before the shootings, Belcher and Perkins were allegedly in a heated argument over Perkins, 22, attending a Trey Songz concert the night before while the couple’s three-month-old daughter stayed at home with Belcher's mother. Those close to the couple say the new baby put additional strain on the relationship and team officials say they “were bending over backward” to help.
Monday, the families of both Belcher and Perkins released statements about the tragic death of the couple.
“On behalf of the Perkins Family, we appreciate the outpouring of love and concern for our Kassandra ‘Kasi’ Perkins. Our hearts are truly broken for Kasi was a beloved daughter, granddaughter, sister, mother, cousin and friend,” the Perkins family posted on Facebook.
Belcher’s family gathered in front of his childhood home in New York on Monday to pay their respects.
“As a family, no words can express the sorrow we feel over the loss of Jovan and Kasandra,” Belcher’s cousin, Yamiesse Lawrence, read outside the home.
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(Photo: AP Photo/Ed Zurga, File)