Police say Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher, 25, fatally shot his girlfriend early Saturday, then drove to Arrowhead Stadium and committed suicide in front of his coach and general manager.
Kansas City police launched an investigation into the apparent murder-suicide after the 25-year-old allegedly shot dead his girlfriend at her home then drove to a practice facility near Arrowhead stadium and turned the gun on himself.
A spokesman said the player killed himself in front of Chiefs’ head coach Romeo Crennel and general manager Scott Pioli.
“As officers pulled up and were getting ready to get out of their car, they heard a gunshot,” police spokesman Darin Snapp said.
“The individual, it appears, took his own life.
“He was not threatening the employees at all. He was just talking to them and thanking them for everything they had done for him.”
Snapp said police had minutes earlier been called to a nearby house after reports that a woman had been shot by her boyfriend. The woman was later pronounced dead on arrival at hospital.
The Chiefs released a brief statement. “We can confirm that there was an incident at Arrowhead earlier this morning,” it said. “We are co-operating with authorities in their investigation.”
Belcher also was a successful youth wrestler. He won three All-American selections in a sport he told the Chiefs’ website that had helped him develop the character needed to try to break into the top US professional league.
“I think it helped build my whole mentality, to never give up and just keep fighting. Wrestling was a big part of it and it still is,” he said in an interview with the Chiefs this month.
Belcher was recruited by the University of Maine, who play in the Colonial Athletic Association, away from the national media spotlight and the scrutiny of many of the scouts looking for potential NFL talent.
The linebacker started all 45 games while completing a degree in child development and his performances impressed enough to earn him reviews as one of the most promising players from a “small school”.
“He was a pass rushing terror at Maine. He’s a bit of a work in progress yet has shown the underlying skills to develop into a productive starter at the next level,” read one pre-draft scouting report.