If you thought Kansas City Chiefs Linebacker Jovan Belcher’s Sunday morning murder-suicide couldn’t get any more sad and sordid, you’d be so wrong you’ll never, ever be right again. It’s a text-book case for why America needs stronger gun control laws, but that’s what we say after every tragic shooting. Taking domestic violence issues more seriously wouldn’t hurt either. For the lucky folks who’ve remained blissfully ignorant of these events, my earlier article explains how Belcher went to the home he shared with his girlfriend Kasandra Perkins, their baby, and his mother, and shot Perkins dead; drove to the Chiefs’ practice facility, thanked Coach Romeo Crennel and General Manager Scott Pioli while chatting with them in the parking lot, then shot himself in the head as the police arrived. And then — according to a thoroughly disgusted Fox Sports‘ Jason Whitlock — Belcher’s teammates played their scheduled game against the Carolina Panthers, and won 27-21.
NBC Sportscaster Bob Costas then raised a ruckus and ticked off NFL fans with his pro-gun control half-time speech during Sunday Night Football (for the video, see my earlier article), to which National Rifle Association (NRA) President Wayne LaPierre responded that things would have turned out better if Perkins had also had a gun. How that scenario would pan out, I cannot even imagine. Even she went out to buy herself a gun, how could the mother of a three-month-old baby keep this gun within arm’s reach at all times (as Perkins would have had to, considering that she was living with the primary threat)? I know! Perkins could stash it in her nursing bra for easy access.
The sad thing is that Belcher appears to have been in the process of seriously addressing his, um, ‘anger issues.’ According to Daniel Bates from the UK’s Daily Mail, the linebacker was a member of Male Athletes Against Violence (MAAV), and had pledged to his counselor, “I promise not to be violent towards women.” Tara Palmeri from the The New York Daily Post adds that the couple had been arguing frequently, and that Belcher’s mother had moved in with them to help. The Kansas City Star‘s Christine Vendal further reports that grandma was present during the shooting and saw her son tearfully apologizing to the dying Perkins while kissing her on the forehead. Whether this show of remorse really happened, or was conjured up from the wishful thinking of a loving mother, we’ll never know.
The sordid thing is that police reports reveal Belcher was found by police the night before the murder-suicide sleeping in a car outside of an apartment complex. When they woke him up and asked what he was doing there, Belcher explained that he was ” there to visit a woman he described as his ‘girlfriend,’ but that she wasn’t home,” according to an Associated Press article which ran in The Boston Herald. Belcher then reportedly made a phone call, and a woman let him into her apartment. Tara Palmeri from The New York Post uncovered more salacious details from that evening: The other girlfriend’s name is Brittni Glass, and she denies being Belcher’s girlfriend. But she “reluctantly” confirmed that she and Belcher got drunk in a local bar that night, then dropped her off. She later let him into her apartment after the police approached the linebacker who had fallen asleep in his car, but didn’t say where he slept.
But the tragic thing is that — with 20-20 hindsight — the signs of impending disaster seem obvious, yet friends, family, team mates, police, and Chiefs management were unable to put everything together and prevent this horrible outcome. According to a report from KCTV 5 via KansasCity.com:
- While studying at the University of Maine, police reports show Belcher had punched out a window after “a problem with a woman” (he later paid to replace the window).
- Belcher owned “several” legally registered guns, which Kansas City Police found in his home after the killings.
- Numerous witnesses reported that the couple had been fighting a lot.
- As mentioned earlier, Belcher was involved with a domestic violence prevention organization and appeared to be working with a counselor.
Why do we allow so many people with serious and documented anger issues own guns? Why aren’t we more proactive in dealing with anger, depression, emotional, domestic violence, and mental health issues? This didn’t need to happen, yet — as things are now — there isn’t much anyone could have done. Meanwhile, life goes on as survivors try to pick up the pieces. Kansas City Police spokesman Darin Snapp announced that Belcher’s mother currently has custody of the couple’s baby daughter, and Chris Oberholtz from KCTV 5 reports that the NFL will pay survivor benefits to thee-month-old Zoe Belcher.
You can see the KCTV 5 video here:
Related coverage from AI:
- Bob Costas And Fox Sportswriter Tick Off NFL Fans, Blame Belcher Murder-Suicide On ‘Gun Culture’
- The David Pakman Show – NRA Slams Bob Costas, ‘Shooter’s Girlfriend Should Have Had Gun’ (VIDEO)