Families grieve in wake of Belcher murder-suicide
KANSAS CITY, MO. (AP) - Breaking their silence for the first time, the family of the woman shot and killed by Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher said Monday their “hearts are truly broken” and asked for privacy while they grieve the loss of two loved ones.
Belcher shot and killed his 22-year-old girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins, at their Kansas City home Saturday before driving to Arrowhead Stadium, where Belcher committed suicide in the practice facility’s parking lot, police said. The couple had a 3-month-old daughter, Zoey.
“Our hearts are truly broken for Kasi was a beloved daughter, granddaughter, sister, mother, cousin and friend,” the family said in an emailed statement. The family also asked that the media “respect our privacy during this difficult time.”
“Please keep us in your hearts and prayers as well as the Belcher family,” the statement said.
“They’re moving it along just like any other case. There’s a formal process it has to go through,” she said.
Dan Ferguson, a spokesman for Jackson County, said the medical examiner’s office has completed examinations on the bodies of both Belcher and Perkins. A full autopsy report would not be available for six to eight weeks, he said.
In an incident report released Monday, police said officers were called to the Kansas City home of Belcher, 25, and Perkins about 7:50 a.m. Saturday. Police found Perkins on the floor of the master bathroom. The report said she died from apparent gunshot wounds, but did not say how many times she had been shot.
The police report said that when officers arrived at Arrowhead about 8 a.m., they saw several people in the practice facility parking lot.
“As they approached, a subject later identified as Jovan Belcher, observed their presence and moved to an area behind a vehicle,” the report said. “From that position Belcher shot himself one time in the head.” Belcher was taken to a hospital, where he died, the report said.
“The majority of people own them, you know, especially in the places that they’re legal,” Chiefs linebacker Brandon Siler said. “People don’t go out and shoot other people. Most of the time they’re for self-defense or sport. Yeah, people own guns, but did you ever hear him say anything about harming someone with a gun? No.”
Chiefs defensive tackle Shaun Smith bristled when asked about a “gun culture” in professional sports, and said players that carry them usually do so for protection.
“Just because we’re in the NFL, that doesn’t make us no different,” he said. “You never know when someone would try to rob you or whatever. … I’ve worked hard to get where I am. I’ll be damned if I’d let someone just take it away from me, period.”