Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher shot his girlfriend -- the mother of his 3-month old daughter -- multiple times Saturday morning, drove about five miles from their home to the team's practice facility near Arrowhead Stadium and killed himself in front of Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel and general manager Scott Pioli, Kansas City police say.
Belcher, 25, and his girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins, 22, had been arguing when Belcher shot her just before 9 a.m. EST. Perkins, identified as a student at a community college in Independence, Mo., was pronounced dead at a local hospital, according to the Kansas City Star.
Police say that Belcher's mother, who was visiting from New York, witnessed the incident and was interviewed by investigators.
A former undrafted free agent in 2009 from the University of Maine, Belcher had climbed the depth chart from special-teams contributor to a full-time starting linebacker. He had 38 tackles in 10 starts this season, 87 tackles in 2011 when he started every game and 84 tackles in 2010 when he started all but one game.
Belcher had five solo tackles against the Ravens on Oct. 7 during a 9-6 Baltimore win.
The news of the murder-suicide hit Ravens defensive lineman Arthur Jones particularly hard Saturday. Belcher was a childhood friend and former wrestling teammate of Jones, both growing up in New York.
Highly upset about the tragedy, Jones sent the following text to The Baltimore Sun regarding his memories of Belcher.
"We wrestled every year on the same New York state team together since middle school through high school," Jones wrote. "Him and Jon (my brother) used to have the best battles, beating the hell out of each other, year in year out. We would all share stories how we all would make it one day. And dream about our first nice car and house we would all own one day, things we would buy our family. He was a SUPER hard worker that never back down from the challenge. One of strongest kids I have ever seen in high school. He always believed in himself.
"This past game when we met on the field after the game we reminisce about the old times we used to have traveling city to city, state to state, kicking butt and taking names. He talked about how good Jon is doing in the UFC and told me to tell him that Jon still can't beat him yet."
Police were called to the stadium around 9:10 a.m. EST, according to The Star. When Belcher showed up there he met Pioli, Crennel and other team officials, who tried to keep him from doing anything further. Police said the player was "holding a gun to his head" as he stood in front of the front doors of the practice facility.
"He had a conversation with Scott Pioli," Police Capt. David Lindaman told the newspaper. "There was no threat and it was quite friendly, from what I understand. The Chiefs' organization had been very supportive of him and he was expressing that."
When police arrived, they heard a gunshot and found that Belcher had shot himself in the head.
"Jovan was a happy, proud father, with pictures of his baby on his Facebook page," Belcher's agent, Joe Linta, told SI.com. "This is shocking. Something went crazy wrong, and we'll probably never know what it is."
"After discussions between the league office, Head Coach Romeo Crennel and Chiefs team captains, the Chiefs advised the NFL that it will play tomorrow's game vs. the Carolina Panthers at its originally scheduled time," read a statement on the team's official website.
Jones will remember the last time he saw his childhood friend when the Ravens face the Steelers Sunday.
"We both laughed, hugged and wished each other the best for the rest of the season ... and walked away knowing I would see my friend again day down the road," Jones said in his text to The Sun