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Jovan Belcher update: NFL player and girlfriend argued about "normal couple stuff" before murder-suicide, friend says

FILE - In this Dec. 11, 2011, file photo, Kansas City Chiefs' Jovan Belcher sits on the sidelines during the third quarter of the NFL football game against the New York Jets in East Rutherford, N.J. Police say Belcher fatally shot his girlfriend early Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, in Kansas City, Mo., then drove to Arrowhead Stadium and committed suicide in front of his coach and general manager. File,AP Photo/Kathy Willens

Dec. 11, 2011 photo of Kansas City Chiefs' Jovan Belcher sitting on the sidelines during the NFL football game against the New York Jets in East Rutherford, N.J.
File, AP Photo/Kathy Willens

(CBS/AP) KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher got back with his 22-year-old girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins, last month and argued about "normal couple stuff" before he killed Perkins and then himself, a friend of the couple said Sunday.

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"It doesn't seem that that would be the end of their story," said Brianne York, a friend of Perkins. "It just seems like if things didn't work out, they would have gone their separate ways. I would never have thought that this would be how it ended."

York, 21, said the couple lived apart briefly earlier in the year but had gotten back together by Thanksgiving. Belcher and Perkins  had a 3-month-old daughter, Zoey, and Perkins was "really happy about being a mom."

When York said she learned that Belcher fatally shot Perkins at the couple's home on Saturday, she thought someone must have been mistaken.

Police said Belcher drove about five miles to Arrowhead Stadium afterward and thanked general manager Scott Pioli and coach Romeo Crennel for all they'd done for him. He then fatally shot himself in the practice facility's parking lot.

Crennel held the team together during the turmoil on Sunday, and the Chiefs rallied to a 27-21 victory over the Carolina Panthers, breaking an eight-game losing streak.

"It was tough," said quarterback Brady Quinn. "It was an eerie feeling after a win, because you don't think you can really win in this situation."

York said she met Perkins while taking classes at the Blue River campus of Metropolitan Community College and they bonded during their pregnancies. York has a baby boy who was born months before Perkins gave birth to Zoey.

Perkins went to visit her family in Texas sometime after Halloween, York said. Perkins also briefly stayed with her cousin, who is married to Chiefs player Jamaal Charles. Belcher and Perkins met through Charles.

York said the root of the argument was that Belcher, "sometimes he would just be down in his man cave or whatever," and Perkins wanted to spend more time together as a family.

"They ended up wanting to try to work it out," York said, "and the next time I went over and visited she told me everything was good and things were better, so I thought everything was fine."

Kansas City police spokesman Darin Snapp reiterated Sunday that the couple had argued recently but he could provide no additional details.

Neighbors in the newly built Kansas City subdivision where the couple had lived since April were stunned by Saturday's violent events.

Kristen VanMeter, 31, lives near the couple and said also she took community-college courses with Perkins. VanMeter said the couple threw "a lot of parties" but said she heard nothing unusual the morning of the killing.

Belcher's mother, who was staying with the couple, called 911 after her son shot Perkins. Snapp said 911 tapes are not public records in Missouri.

Shawn Martin, vice president of the neighborhood homeowners association, said she wasn't aware of any problems that preceded the shooting.

She described the parties at the couple's home as "nothing more than any other young couple" would have.

York said Perkins was taking the fall semester off school after having the baby. Perkins planned to return in January and wanted to become a teacher.

Police said Belcher's mother was living with the couple, but York said she just made frequent visits, sometimes lasting a couple weeks at a time. She doesn't know who will care for the baby now.

"They just seemed really happy around each other, and I just don't understand where things went wrong," York said.

York said the only other stress Perkins mentioned was whether Belcher would stay with the Chiefs.

"She was a really good person to be around and a lot of fun," York said. "She was somebody you could call when you were down and she would talk you through it. She would lift you back up and make you feel happy again if you were sad or upset."

More on Crimesider
Dec. 1, 2012 - Jovan Belcher, Kansas City Chiefs linebacker, killed girlfriend, then self, police say

  • Crimesider Staff

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