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Associated Press
Yamiesse Lawrence, left, a cousin of the late Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher, said the weekend’s events were an “inconceivable tragedy.”

Families grieving Belcher tragedy

– Breaking their silence for the first time, the family of the woman shot and killed by Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher said Monday their “hearts are truly broken” and asked for privacy while they grieve the loss of two loved ones.

Belcher shot and killed his 22-year-old girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins, at their Kansas City home Saturday before driving to Arrowhead Stadium, where Belcher committed suicide in the practice facility’s parking lot, police said. The couple had a 3-month-old daughter, Zoey.

“Our hearts are truly broken for Kasi was a beloved daughter, granddaughter, sister, mother, cousin and friend,” the family said in an emailed statement.

“Please keep us in your hearts and prayers as well as the Belcher family,” the statement said.

Kansas City police Sgt. Marisa Barnes said Monday that authorities hope to deliver an investigative report to prosecutors today.

In an incident report released Monday, police said officers were called to the Kansas City home of Belcher, 25, and Perkins about 7:50 a.m. Saturday. Police found Perkins on the floor of the master bathroom. The report said she died from apparent gunshot wounds but did not say how many times she had been shot.

Belcher then drove about five miles to Arrowhead Stadium.

The police report said that when officers arrived at Arrowhead about 8 a.m., they saw several people in the practice facility parking lot.

“As they approached, a subject later identified as Jovan Belcher, observed their presence and moved to an area behind a vehicle,” the report said. “From that position Belcher shot himself one time in the head.” Belcher was taken to a hospital, where he died, the report said.

Police spokesman Darin Snapp said Monday that Belcher’s mother, who had been staying with the couple, was given temporary custody of the couple’s daughter.

Belcher’s relatives also provided statements Monday, as several relatives gathered outside of Belcher’s boyhood home in West Babylon, N.Y., looking somber and sad. Yamiesse Lawrence, a cousin of Belcher’s, said the weekend’s events were an “inconceivable tragedy.”

“As a family, no words can express the sorrow we feel over the loss of Jovan and Kasandra,” Lawrence read aloud.

She said the family is “overwhelmed with both sadness and confusion,” and extends thoughts and prayers to the Perkins family.

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