At a news conference, Kansas City coach Crennel for the first time discussed the details of Saturday's tragedy involving Jovan Belcher. The linebacker killed his girlfriend and himself.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City coach Romeo Crennel had tried to help.
He had stood in the parking lot of the Chiefs’ practice facility with linebacker Jovan Belcher early Saturday morning. He was uncertain what was troubling Belcher, whom he knew as a strong-willed leader who sat in the front at meetings.
He did not know that earlier that morning, Belcher had fatally shot his girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins. Belcher thanked Crennel and general manager Scott Pioli for all they had done for him.
“I was trying to get him to understand that life is not over, he still has a chance and let’s get this worked out,” Crennel recalled Monday, adding he did not know of any personal issues Belcher might have had.
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But Belcher, 25, turned and walked away from Crennel and Pioli.
A police report released Monday said Belcher saw officers approaching, called due to a disturbance involving an armed man, and moved behind his vehicle before shooting himself once in the head.
At a news conference, Crennel for the first time discussed the details of Saturday’s tragedy. Crennel said he did not know whether Belcher had ever had a concussion. He said he had not known Belcher to behave in a violent manner.
“I’ve never seen him with a gun — never, ever,” Crennel said, his voice rising as he ended his answer with, “OK?”
Belcher and Perkins, 22, had a 3-month-old daughter, Zoey. Crennel was asked if Belcher was overwhelmed by having a high-profile job and being a new father.
“Now you’re trying to make me a psychologist, and I’m not a psychologist,” he replied. “I don’t know what made him snap.”
Teammates are left trying to come to terms with the Belcher they knew and the one who killed himself and his girlfriend.
“We didn’t know the guy that made those last few decisions,” said Brandon Siler, who played in place of Belcher in Sunday’s 27-21 home victory over Carolina.
Perkins’ family, in an emailed statement, said, “Our hearts are truly broken.”
Police said Belcher attended a concert the night before the killing and had “partied.”
Belcher was undrafted out of Maine. His name appears on at least three police reports released by university officials. In April 2006, which was Belcher’s freshman year, he was upset over a woman and punched a dormitory window, according to officials. In February 2007, officers responded to a noise complaint involving Belcher and a girlfriend and “a discussion outside his room.”
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Vilma, Saints defensive end Will Smith and two other players await a ruling by former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue on whether their suspensions should be reduced. Vilma, suspended for the 2012 season, and Smith, suspended four games, can play while their appeals are pending.
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Brasher is a former Seahawks assistant coach.
Compiled from The New York Times, The Kansas City Star and The Associated Press.
|Player, position||Team||Injury, prognosis|
|Ryan Broyles, WR||Lions||knee, out for season|
|David Stewart, T||Titans||broken leg, out for season|
|Sherrod Martin, S||Panthers||knee, out for season|
|Jake Long, T||Dolphins||triceps, might be done for season|
|Brice McCain, CB||Texans||broken foot, out about 6 weeks|
|Eric Wood, C||Bills||knee, out from 2 to 4 weeks|
|Jeromey Clary, T||Chargers||knee, unlikely to play Sunday|
|Jordy Nelson, TE||Packers||hamstring, uncertain|
|Cecil Shorts III, WR||Jaguars||concussion, uncertain|