NFL Chiefs’ Linebacker Kills Girlfriend in Murder-Suicide
On Dec. 1, 2012, the tragic death of the Kansas City Chiefs’ linebacker Jovan Belcher, 25, was found dead after he fatally shot his girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins, 22, several times. He then drove to Arrowhead Stadium where he committed suicide in front of his head coach Romeo Crennel, linebacker’s coach Gary Gibbs and the team’s general manager Scott Pioli. Belcher left behind a three-month old daughter he had with Perkins named Zoey.
“The entire Chiefs family’[s] […] hearts are heavy with sympathy; thoughts and prayers go out for the families and friends affected by this unthinkable tragedy,” Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt said in an interview with Kansas City Star.
According to multiple media sources, the relationship between Belcher and Perkins had been strained, with constant arguments over issues, such as money. On the day of the murder, Belcher’s mother was in the house, reporting that the couple had been arguing in their bedroom when Belcher fired up to nine bullets into her body.
According to NewsOne.com, Belcher’s reactions may have been triggered by multiple head concussions that he had suffered due his football career.
Football is the most common sport with the risk of a concussion standing at 75 percent for males.
“Concussions are painful. It feels like […] massive headaches,” sophomore Laura Salazar said.
Research has shown that concussions frequently affects professional and high school athletes. It is shown that 5 to 10 percent of athletes will experience a concussion in any given sport season.
Headaches and dizziness are most commonly reported symptoms immediately following concussions for injured athletes. However, it is estimated that 47 percent of athletes do not report feeling any symptoms after a concussive blow.
In addition, an autopsy revealed that Belcher’s blood-alcohol level was at 0.17 percent at the time of the murder-suicide, over twice the legal limit for Missouri drivers, 0.08 percent.
Belcher had been suffering from short term memory, which, combined with the influence of alcohol and constant concussions, may have impaired his judgment.