Chiefs coach Crennel says he tried to talk player out of suicide

Mon Dec 3, 2012 6:04pm EST
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By Kevin Murphy

KANSAS CITY, Missouri (Reuters) - Kansas City Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel said on Monday he tried to talk linebacker Jovan Belcher out of shooting himself outside the team's practice facility before the player committed suicide on Saturday.

Belcher shot himself in the head in a parking lot in the presence of team personnel that included Crennel and General Manager Scott Pioli, police said. A few minutes earlier, he shot his girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins, to death in the couple's home, according to police.

"I was trying to get him to understand that life is not over, he still has a chance and let's get this worked out," Crennel said at a press conference Monday afternoon.

Crennel said he was unaware that Belcher had killed Perkins at the time that he gave the player the advice.

"I didn't know what happened," Crennel said. "All I know is it was a player with a gun and I know that is not a good thing. I've never seen him with a gun, never, ever."

The Chiefs prohibit guns on team property, team officials said.

Crennel described Belcher as a hard-working, loyal player. "I don't know what made him snap," Crennel said. "I was surprised."

Chiefs' chairman Clark Hunt said Sunday that doctors and coaches told him they knew of no physical or emotional issues that would have signaled the Belcher shootings.   Continued...

Kansas City Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel (R) and general manager Scott Pioli watch their team before the start of their NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers in Kansas City, Missouri December 2, 2012. REUTERS/Dave Kaup