KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — As investigators search for a motive to help explain why Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher killed his girlfriend and then himself, a discordant picture of the couple has begun to emerge.
Afterward, Belcher drove about five miles to Arrowhead Stadium, where he thanked general manager Scott Pioli and coach Romeo Crennel for all they had done for him. Belcher then fatally shot himself in the practice facility’s parking lot, police said.
Sunday found Crennel on the sidelines, bravely holding together a team in turmoil. The Chiefs rallied to a 27-21 victory over the Carolina Panthers, breaking an eight-game losing streak.
“It was tough,” quarterback Brady Quinn said. “It was an eerie feeling after a win, because you don’t think you can really win in this situation.”
York, who met Perkins while taking classes at the Blue River campus of Metropolitan Community College, said the women bonded during their pregnancies. York has a baby boy who was born months before Perkins gave birth to Zoey.
“It doesn’t seem that that would be the end of their story,” York said. “It just seems like if things didn’t work out, they would have gone their separate ways. I would never have thought that this would be how it ended.”
York said that sometime after Halloween Perkins had gone to visit her family in Texas. Perkins also briefly stayed with her cousin, who is married to Chiefs player Jamaal Charles. Belcher and Perkins met through Charles, York said.
A message left for Charles and his wife through an assistant was not immediately returned.
“They ended up wanting to try to work it out,” York said, “and the next time I went over and visited, she told me everything was good and things were better, so I thought everything was fine.”
Kansas City police spokesman Darin Snapp reiterated Sunday that the couple had argued recently but he could provide no additional details.
At the couple’s former home, people could be seen coming and going Sunday.
“Can you all respect grieving?” said a man who answered the door at the couple’s home. A short time later, at the same time the Chiefs were playing, two men loaded bags into a car, and two women drove away.
Attempts to reach various members of Perkins‘ family in Austin, Texas, were unsuccessful.
Neighbors in the newly built Kansas City subdivision where the couple had lived since April were stunned by Saturday’s violent events.
Kristen VanMeter, 31, lives near the couple and said also she had taken community-college courses with Perkins. VanMeter said the couple threw “a lot of parties” but said she heard nothing unusual the morning of the killing.
“It’s a surprise,” she said. “There had to of been something that triggered it.”
Shawn Martin, vice president of the neighborhood homeowners association, said she wasn’t aware of any problems that preceded the shooting.
“They just seemed really happy around each other, and I just don’t understand where things went wrong,” York said.
“She was a really good person to be around and a lot of fun,” York said. “She was somebody you could call when you were down, and she would talk you through it. She would lift you back up and make you feel happy again if you were sad or upset.”