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NFL players and fans are expressing shock and grief over reports that Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher murdered his girlfriend and then committed suicide.
Police say Belcher fatally shot Kasandra Michelle Perkins in the couple’s Kansas City home at around 7:50 a.m., before he drove to a practice facility outside Arrowhead Stadium and killed himself in front of members of the team’s coaching staff and front office. The couple had a baby daughter, The Kansas City Star reported.
Belcher’s mother was visiting from New York and witnessed the shooting. Chiefs coaching staff told police they attempted to prevent Belcher from harming himself and said he had not threatened them.
Belcher’s teammates were among those expressing grief online.
Chiefs linebacker Tamba Hali:
I am devastated by this mornings events. I want to send my thoughts and prayers out to everyone effected by this tragedy.
— Tamba Hali (@TambaHali91) December 1, 2012
Chiefs wide receiver Dexter McCluster:
Times like this you have to pray!!! I love you man, brothers for life!!!! #chiefs
— Dexter McCluster (@dextermccluster) December 1, 2012
Current and former NFL stars also shared their sympathies:
My prayers goes out to everyone associated with the Kansas City Chiefs God bless you. Truth
— DeionSanders (@DeionSanders) December 1, 2012
Wow… Unbelievable tragedy. My prayers go out to the entire Chiefs organization and their families.
— Tim Tebow (@TimTebow) December 1, 2012
Tim Tebow also retweeted messages from followers. “Saddest part remains the 3-month-old child who will never know their parents. 🙁 So tragic,” one of Tebow’s followers wrote.
ESPN’s Dick Vitale wrote:
Heartbreaking – KC chiefs player commits suicide after killing his girlfriend – So tragic – PLEASE- I BEG u if DEPRESSED – GET HELP !
— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) December 1, 2012
While NFL Network’s Rich Eisen tweeted:
— Rich Eisen (@richeisen) December 1, 2012
Jordin Sparks was among the stars outside of the sports world who also weighed in:
Watching ESPN this am & heard the news. Prayers go out to the Chiefs & families dealing w/ the horrible tragedy in Kansas City. #heavyheart
— Jordin Sparks (@JordinSparks) December 1, 2012
The Chiefs are scheduled to play Sunday and released a statement saying they would not postpone the game: “After discussions between the league office, Head Coach Romeo Crennel and Chiefs team captains, the Chiefs advised the NFL that it will play tomorrow’s game vs. the Carolina Panthers at its originally scheduled time.”
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Jamie Lee Curtis