Panthers-Chiefs will play Sunday after LB Belcher commits murder-suicide

Dec 1, 2012 |
Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher shot and killed his girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins, at his home, then himself at Arrowhead Stadium early Saturday morning.

Belcher played all 11 games with the Chiefs this year and had worked his way into a starting inside linebacker role. He finished second on the team in tackles last season with 87 and had 38 tackles so far this year. He leaves behind a 3-month old daughter after the tragic incident. 

"Jovan was a happy, proud father, with pictures of his baby on his Facebook page," his agent Joe Linta told's Peter King in a phone call on Saturday afternoon. "This is shocking. Something went crazy wrong, and we'll probably never know what it is."

The first shooting was reported around 8 a.m. local time at a home near 54th Street and Chrysler Avenue in Kansas City. The second shooting was reported a short time later at a Chiefs practice facility located at Arrowhead Stadium.

A friend of Belcher's girlfriend said the couple had an argued in the early morning hours after the woman was out late attending Friday’s Trey Songz concert, according to a report by the Kansas City Star. The friend said Belcher confronted his girlfriend when she returned home about 1 a.m. local time.

The Chiefs were 3-point home underdogs this week for Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers. Most sportsbooks took the line off the board but at around 5 p.m. ETvSaturday, Pinnacle and the LVH posted lines of Carolina -3.5 - up just a half point from earlier. The over/under had moved down 1.5 points at Pinnacle to 38.5 and down one point at the LVH to 39. As of 9 a.m. Sunday morning, most books who still had a line up had moved to Carolina -4.

The NFL confirmed late Saturday afternoon the game would go on as scheduled and the Chiefs released this statement regarding the decision.

"After discussions between the league office, head coach Romeo Crennel and Chiefs team captains, the Chiefs advised the NFL that it will play tomorrow's game vs. the Carolina Panthers at its originally scheduled time."

Crennel and general manager Scott Pioli spoke to Belcher right before he killed himself and witnessed the incident. Kansas City Sly James spoke with Pioli and said he was understandably "very emotional".

Linta, who is the agent for Belcher and Crennel, was asked by King how Crennel would handle this tragedy with his players.

"With dignity, like everything Romeo does in his life," Linta said. "Life doesn't hand you roses all the time. But Romeo is a salt-of-the-earth kind of person who will rely on his faith and his determination to do what he has to do, to do what's right. He will know what to say to his team, because he always knows what to say."

Sunday's game is set for noon Central Time.

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