NFL: Chiefs player Belcher dead in stadium suicide

Agence France-Presse
Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher fatally shot himself at the NFL team's Arrowhead Stadium Saturday, December 1, after apparently shooting and killing his girlfriend

KANSAS CITY, Missouri, United States – Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher fatally shot himself at the NFL team’s Arrowhead Stadium Saturday, December 1, after apparently shooting and killing his girlfriend, police said.

Kansas City Police Captain David Lindaman told the Kansas City star that the 25-year-old player and his 22-year-old girlfriend, who has not been named, argued early Saturday and police believe he shot her.

The woman, who had a three-month-old daughter with Belcher, later died in hospital.

Police spokesman Darin Snapp told reporters at the stadium that authorities had responded to a call from the residence where the woman was shot.

Shortly thereafter they received a second emergency call from the stadium, and as police were responding a second shooting took place at the Chiefs’ practice facility.

“When officers arrived (at Arrowhead Stadium), they observed a black male who had a gun to his head and he was talking to a couple of coaches out in the parking lot,” Snapp said.

“As officers pulled up and began to park, that’s when they heard the gunshot and it appears the individual took his own life.”

Police said Chiefs staff attempted to calm Belcher, who spoke with head coach Roeo Crennel and general manager Scott Pioli before taking his own life.

“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,” Chiefs chairman and chief executive Clark Hunt 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.”

Belcher, who was originally from Long Island, New York, had been with the Chiefs for four years. He joined them as an undrafted free agent out of university and worked his way into a starting position.

The Chiefs are scheduled to host Carolina in an NFL game on Sunday and several media outlets reported the Panthers had been advised by the league to travel as planned to Kansas City. – Agence France-Presse