Police reports shed light on Jovan Belcher's death spiral
Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher sent a text message to his secret girlfriend saying he "would shoot" the mother of his child "if she didn't leave him alone" less than two months before he fatally shot her and committed suicide, case records obtained Tuesday by Newsday show.
Belcher, 25, a West Babylon native, shot Kasandra Perkins, 22, between eight and 10 times with a .40-caliber handgun in their suburban Kansas City, Mo., home, according to the final report on the Dec. 1 shooting by Kansas City police and prosecutors in Jackson County, Mo. It says Belcher then shot himself with a different weapon at Arrowhead Stadium.
According to the case records, which include witness statements and details about evidence, police found a bullet hole in the floor of the master bathroom where Belcher killed Perkins, and the spent round went through to the basement.
Belcher's mother, Cheryl Shepherd, told investigators she heard a "thump" before the shots were fired, records show. Shepherd said she had recently moved into the couple's home to help them work through "relationship problems" -- and to help care for their 3-month-old daughter, Zoey.
Shepherd told detectives the couple had argued the morning of the shooting about "one or both of them going out as in to a club or partying," according to the records.
Jackson County prosecutors closed the case Friday after deeming it a murder-suicide, a law-enforcement source said.
Among the other revelations in the case file:
Belcher told his second girlfriend, 22, that Perkins "knew exactly how to press his buttons and make him angry." He also told her Perkins had "threatened to take all his money and his child if they split up."
Police saw 10 gunshot wounds on the front of Perkins body and five wounds on the back of her body.
Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel told investigators Belcher had missed a team meeting earlier in the season and blamed Perkins for his absence, telling the coach that Perkins had left him alone with the baby all night while she was out. Crennel told police he believed Belcher and Perkins had "trust issues."
Crennel "stated that he got the impression that Ms. Perkins wanted to live a better life and expected to live a better life because she was with an NFL player," according to the records. Crennel also told police he believed Belcher had reached out to a lawyer to discuss getting custody of Zoey.
Belcher's body was heavily tattooed. The designs on his skin included the words "Reckless," "Abandon," "Loyalty" and "Failure is not an option."
The files also detailed Belcher's movements in the hours before the shootings.
While Perkins was at a concert in downtown Kansas City, Belcher drove to his second girlfriend's apartment about 8:30 p.m. They went out with friends two hours later. After two hours on the town, at 12:45 a.m., Belcher kissed her goodbye and then fell asleep in his black Bentley, records show.
Shortly before 3 a.m., someone called police to report a suspicious man sleeping in his car, and officers woke Belcher.
The officers told Belcher he needed to go inside the building, but the girlfriend wasn't available, according to the records. Two women in a neighboring apartment let him sleep on their couch, the records show.
Back home later that morning, Belcher and Perkins began to argue over one or both of them having gone out partying, records show. Shepherd told investigators she did not get involved because Perkins had accused her of interfering.
Shepherd heard the shots and reached the bathroom in time to watch her son kiss and apologize to Perkins before saying goodbye to his mother and Zoey, records show.
Belcher then drove to the stadium, records show, where he told Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli, "I'm sorry, Scott. I've done a bad thing to my girlfriend already."
Pioli and two coaches tried to talk Belcher into putting down his gun. But Belcher walked behind a minivan, records show. There, he knelt on one knee, made the sign of the cross and shot himself.