(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) — Police say the Kansas City Chiefs had provided counseling to linebacker Jovan Belcher before he killed his girlfriend and then shot himself to death in front of his coaches at the team’s practice facility.
The team went to considerable lengths to help the couple overcome relationship and financial problems, ABC News has learned from Kansas City Police.
Police say Belcher, 25, thanked team officials Saturday morning but told them their assistance “was too late” before shooting himself as general manager Scott Pioli and head coach Romeo Crennel stood nearby. He had killed girlfriend Kassandra Perkins, 22, hours before. The couple had a 3-month old daughter.
Belcher’s teammates beat the Carolina Panthers 27-21 in a game the next day overshadowed by Saturday’s developments.
His locker at the Chiefs’ practice facility remained full of his gear as his coach and teammates spoke to reporters Monday.
“I’m not a psychologist, I don’t know what made him snap,” Crennel said. “I was surprised.”
Piecing together Saturday’s chain of events, the Kansas City Star reported that Belcher said he was sorry and kissed Perkins on the forehead after shooting her in their master bedroom.
His mother, who was staying with couple, saw the goodbye after hearing shots and rushing from the kitchen, the newspaper said, citing multiple police sources.
The sources told the paper that the couple had been arguing about relationship and financial issues for months.
Belcher then left the home after apologizing to his mother and kissing his daughter, the paper reported.
He drove to the team’s practice facility where he killed himself.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Z. Byron Wolf, CNN
Parija Kavilanz, CNN
Betsy Klein, CNN
Andreas Preuss, CNN