AUSTIN-- Both families involved in Saturday's murder-suicide of a Kansas City Chiefs football player and his girlfriend release statements about the incident.
Investigators say Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher killed his girlfriend, 22-year-old Kasandra M. Perkins, and then himself Saturday morning in Kansas City.
Perkins was from Texas, but moved to Kansas City to be with Belcher.
Officials said after fatally shooting Perkins at their home, Belcher drove about five miles to Arrowhead Stadium, where he thanked Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli and coach Romeo Crennel for all they'd done for him. Belcher then fatally shot himself in the practice facility's parking lot, police said.
He was a fourth-year linebacker with the Chiefs.
Belcher and Perkins had lived apart briefly earlier in the year but had gotten back together by Thanksgiving, according to a friend of Perkins. The two had their first child together, a little baby girl named Zoey, this September.
Kansas City police spokesman Darin Snapp said Sunday that the couple had argued recently but he could provide no additional details.
One of Belcher's cousins, Yamiesse Lawrence, read a statement outside Belcher's boyhood home in West Babylon, N.Y., on Monday, saying words can't express the sorrow the family feels.
Lawrence said the family is overwhelmed with both sadness and confusion, and extends thoughts and prayers to the Perkins family.
Belcher's niece, Quaresha Boston, said the football player embraced life and excelled at all he put his energy behind and that God alone could mend our hearts.
The Perkins family also released a statement on Monday:
On behalf of the Perkins Family, we appreciate the outpouring of love and concern for our Kassandra Kasi Perkins. Our hearts are truly broken, for Kasi was a beloved daughter, granddaughter, sister, mother, cousin and friend. At this time we request the media respect our privacy during this difficult time as we grieve for our loved one. Please keep us in your hearts and prayers as well as the Belcher family for two lives were lost. Again we thank you for your support, our wish is for Kasi to be remembered for the love she shared with us all.Kasi will be truly missed!
Perkins graduated in 2009 from Anderson High School in Austin. She spent a good portion of her childhood in the Dallas-area, but received her diploma from the Austin school.