Orono, ME – University of Maine football coach Jack Cosgrove reacted with disbelief Saturday after one of his former players, Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher, killed himself at the NFL team's facility, moments after killing his girlfriend.
According to Kansas City police, the 25-year-old Belcher shot his girlfriend, 22-year-old Kasandra M. Perkins, multiple times after the two had been engaged in an argument at home Saturday morning. She was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead.
Minutes after the first shooting, police said, Belcher drove to the Chiefs' training facility at Arrowhead Stadium and spoke with team personnel, including head coach Romeo Crennel and general manager Scott Pioli, before taking his own life with a gunshot.
Belcher, from West Babylon, N.Y., played at Maine from 2005-08. Cosgrove says Jovan was a "tremendous student-athlete."
He added, "His move to the NFL was in keeping with his dreams. This is an indescribably horrible tragedy. At this difficult time, our thoughts and prayers are with Jovan, Kasandra and their families."
As a senior co-captain in 2008, Belcher was named the CAA Football Preseason Defensive Player of the Year and named to the Preseason All-CAA Team. In 44 career games, he had 293 tackles, 44 tackles for loss and 18 sacks.
He graduated from Maine in December 2008 with a bachelor's degree in child development and family relations.
Belcher was in his fourth year with the Chiefs after signing as an undrafted free agent out of Maine. He started 10 of the 11 games he had played this season, registering 38 tackles.