NFL linebacker kills girlfriend, commits suicide

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NFL linebacker kills girlfriend, commits suicide

KANSAS CITY, Missouri - The National Football League was left reeling in horror on Saturday after Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher murdered his girlfriend and committed suicide in front of the organization’s coach and general manager.

The 25-year-old Belcher shot Kassandra Perkins at their home on Saturday morning then drove his car to the team’s training facility near Arrowhead Stadium and turned the gun on himself just as police arrived.

“As officers pulled up and were getting ready to get out of their car, they heard a gunshot,” Kansas City police spokesman Darin Snapp said.

“The individual, it appears, took his own life.”

Snapp said Belcher shot himself in the head in front of Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel and general manager Scott Pioli.

“He was not threatening the employees at all,” Snapp said. “He was just talking to them and thanking them for everything they had done for him.”

Snapp said police had earlier been called to a nearby house after reports that a woman, identified as Belcher’s 22-year-old girlfriend Perkins, had been shot multiple times. She was later pronounced dead at a hospital.

Local media reported that Belcher and Perkins had a three-month-old daughter and Perkins’ mother witnessed the killing and called police.

“This is part of the tragedy of urban living in this country,” Kansas City Mayor Sly James told reporters outside the practice facility.

“Handguns all over the place, people blowing themselves away, and others. At some point we have to get a handle on this kind of stuff. We are not doing a good job of it.”

Belcher was signed by the Chiefs in 2009 after he was overlooked in the NFL draft and established himself as a regular starter in his second season.

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