(FOX 25 / MyFoxBoston.com) — A Kansas City player murdered his girlfriend and then turned the gun on himself, stunning the NFL. Now, there are new details about what may have triggered the tragic murder-suicide.
Many are wondering what went wrong. A man who seemed to have so much to live for brought everything to an end over the weekend. Now, some have begun to wonder if this is yet another example of how head injuries can lead to violence.
On Saturday, police say Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher shot and killed his girlfriend, 22-year-old Kasandra M. Perkins. Then, Belcher drove to Arrowhead Stadium and fatally shot himself in front of the team's general manager and coach, two men formerly with the New England Patriots.
Friends told Deadspin.com that the relationship between Belcher and the mother of his 3-month-old child had been strained, but they also wonder if game day blows to the head had impacted his decisions.
The Chief's chairman says Belcher was not a player with a long concussive history. But a friend told Deadspin that Belcher was drinking daily and heavily, and also taking painkillers, all in an effort to alleviate his head injuries.
Years ago, Belcher seemed an unlikely person to become involved in a domestic disturbance. At the University of Maine's football program, he was a member of Male Athletes Against Violence initiative and earned a degree in Child Development and Family Relations. His death has sent shockwaves through the team.
Monday, researchers released their report on the impact of head injuries and brain damage, mostly among athletes. It came from Boston University's School of Medicine.
>>BU study links head injuries to brain damage
According to The Boston Globe, scientists evaluated 85 donors and found brain dysfunction in the vast majority of them. The syndrome can make itself known through anger and memory loss, symptoms friends claim belcher suffered from. The findings could lead to stronger regulations among youth football leagues.
Earlier this year, former Patriots player Junior Seau took his own life. But before he did, he asked that his brain be studied for trauma, clearly concerned that concussions on the field had impacted his life, off of it.
Murder-suicide stuns Chiefs' players neighborhood
Crennel, Pioli witnessed Belcher commit suicide in Kansas City