Jovan Belcher Update: NFL team gave player counseling before girlfriend's killing, suicide

Jovan Belcher and Kasandra Perkins are seen here in this undated personal photo.
Personal photo
Kasandra Perkins and Jovan Belcher in an undated photo.
Personal Photo

(CBS/AP) KANSAS CITY - Kansas City Chiefs officials knew that linebacker Jovan Belcher and his girlfriend were having relationship problems, and the team provided the couple with counseling in an effort to help, a police official said.

Pictures: NFL player kills girlfriend, then self, cops say

Belcher, 25, fatally shot Kasandra Perkins, 22, at their Kansas City home Saturday before shooting himself in the head in the Arrowhead Stadium parking lot in front of team officials who were trying to stop him, including general manager Scott Pioli and head coach Romeo Crennel.

Police Sgt. Richard Sharp says the couple had been arguing over relationship and financial issues for months and that the team had been "bending over backward" trying to help them, the Kansas City Star reports.

Before taking his own life, Belcher thanked the two officials for everything the team had done for him and asked if Pioli and team owner Clark Hunt would take care of his daughter, the paper reported.

When Belcher heard police sirens approaching the stadium, he said, "Guys, I have to do this," and knelt behind a vehicle and shot himself in the head.

Investigators believe Belcher killed himself because he was distraught over shooting Perkins, Sharp said.

"He cared about her," Sharp said. "I don't think he could live with himself."

It is unclear how long the couple had been undergoing counseling provided by the team. 

The night before the killings, Perkins attended a concert downtown with friends and Belcher had been out at the Power and Light District, police said. Belcher's mother was home watching their 3-month-old baby. Detectives don't know exactly what the couple was arguing about that fatal morning but The Star reported that Belcher was upset that Perkins had stayed out so late.

Authorities are awaiting the results of autopsies and toxicology tests on both bodies.

Belcher's mother was awarded temporary custody of the couple's daughter, police spokesman Darin Snapp said Monday.

Complete coverage of the Jovan Belcher case on Crimesider