Chiefs game goes on after murder-suicide tragedy

(CBS News) KANSAS CITY - One day after Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher murdered his girlfriend, then killed himself, the team took to the field to take on the visiting Carolina Panthers.

The Chiefs won 27 to 21, but it was a bittersweet victory as the team and fans to struggle to look for answers.

Amid the typical game day festivities in Kansas City, there were constant reminders of the tragedy. The Chiefs' coach, Romeo Crennel, greeted fans with a heartfelt gesture.

Chiefs owner on Belcher: "So many people are hurting"
K.C. Chiefs' Jovan Belcher kills girlfriend, self

"Some would say it's time to mourn," Crennel said. "We're here for the Chiefs' organization, to show support."

Authorities say Belcher shot and killed Kasandra Perkins, his girlfriend and mother of his three-month-old daughter, Saturday morning at their home. He then drove to the team's practice facility, where he shot himself in front of Crennel and two others.

The team and NFL decided to go ahead with Sunday's game. There was no tribute to Belcher -- just a moment of silence for victims of domestic violence.

"There were two victims and we really lost members of our Chiefs family," Crennel said. "Kasandra was part of our Chiefs' women's organization that does things in the community for the team, and under the circumstances we didn't think it was appropriate to honor just one and not the other."

Fans also wrestled with how to support the team and mourn the loss.

"I think that is tough all the way," said Tracy Johnson, a fan. "You have fans that want to move forward and honor somebody's life but at the same time there was a loss and a loss that he inflicted upon himself and his girlfriend."

Belcher was a standout player at the University of Maine. As a free agent, he played hard enough to earn a starting position in Kansas City. In his hometown of West Babylon, New York, friends remembered better days.

"All I know is that is a good man and I hate that he is gone," said Ruben Marshall, a friend.

Police in Kansas City have not released a motive for the shooting, but did say the couple had been arguing in recent days.

CBS News spoke with Belcher's mother, but she had not comment. She only said, "I have grieving to do."


Follow Us

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Watch Now

On Twitter

New Android App

For your Android phone and tablet, download the FREE redesigned app, featuring CBSN, live 24/7 news.

The all new
CBS News App for Android® for iPad® for iPhone®
Fully redesigned. Featuring CBSN, 24/7 live news. Get the App