The Kansas City Chiefs were “bending over backward” and providing counseling for the couple involved in the Dec. 1 murder-suicide that spurred on another national debate over gun control, The Kansas City Star reported Tuesday.
Local police told the newspaper that the team had offered assistance to Kasandra Perkins and her boyfriend, Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher before Belcher shot and killed Perkins in the couple’s home before killing himself at the team’s complex. The couple had been having arguments over “relationship and financial issues,” though the exact cause of the argument that led to the fatal shooting has not been determined.
The report comes a day after Perkins’ family released its first public statement asking for privacy and mourning the deaths of both her and Belcher.
“Our wish is for Kasi to be remembered for the love she shared with us all,” the statement said. “Kasi will be truly missed.”
Members of Belcher’s family also released statements, including his aunt, Mary Kimble, who said, “We love Jovan, his kindness, humility, respect for family and friends were steadfast.”
The team’s game against Carolina Dec. 2 was not cancelled, and the fatal incident was also the subject of a nationally-televised commentary by NBC sports anchor Bob Costas that divided viewers over his harsh words against American gun culture.
Police also released a more detailed account of Belcher’s actions on the day he killed Perkins and himself.
Around 8 a.m., they said, Belcher’s mother reportedly heard him say something to the effect of, “You can’t talk to me like that!” before hearing gunfire. She then saw him lean over Perkins, say he was sorry, and kiss her on the forehead.
Belcher then allegedly apologized to his mother, who had moved in with the couple so they could “walk through their problems” and kissed the couple’s 3-month-old daughter before driving to the team’s complex, where authorities said he admitted to the team’s general manager, Scott Pioli, that he killed Perkins. Belcher also reportedly pointed his gun at his own head.
Sports Illustrated columnist Peter King reported that at Belcher’s request, Pioli then called Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel and defensive coordinator Gary Gibbs to the scene. Crennel corroborated this account with The Star.
“I was trying to get him to understand that life is not over,” Crennel told the newspaper.
Shortly thereafter, hearing police sirens nearby, Belcher reportedly walked away, the gun still at his head.
“I got to go,” he said, before kneeling, making the sign of the cross, and pulling the trigger. “I can’t be here.”
Watch KCTV-TV’s report on the statements from both Perkins’ family and Belcher’s, aired Monday, below.
[Image via ABC News/YouTube]