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Despite Tragedy; Chiefs and Panthers to Be Played as Scheduled

Despite the tragic events Saturday involving Kansas City Chiefs LB Jovan Belcher, who killed his girlfriend and then self Saturday, the game Sunday with the Panthers and Chiefs will go on.

“After discussions between the league office, Head Coach Romeo Crennel and Chiefs team captains, the Chiefs advised the NFL that it will play tomorrow’s game vs. the Carolina Panthers at its originally scheduled time,” read a statement on the Panthers’ official website.

The story of Belcher is that he shot and killed his girlfriend early Saturday morning, then drove to the Chiefs facility a few miles away.

At his time of arrival, Crennel and GM Scott Pioli talked briefly to Belcher, where already at that time about 20 players and coaches were already gathered for a morning meeting.

When police began to arrive, Belcher walked away from Crennel and Pioli to an empty parking lot, where he shot himself.

Crennel and Pioli told police they never felt in danger. Belcher was “thanking them for everything they’d done for him since he’s been a Chief,” said police spokesman Darin Snapp.

Chiefs owner Clark Hunt released a statement on behalf of the team:

“The entire Chiefs family is deeply saddened by today’s events, and our collective hearts are heavy with sympathy, thoughts and prayers for the families and friends affected by this unthinkable tragedy. We sincerely appreciate the expressions of sympathy and support we have received from so many in the Kansas City and NFL communities, and ask for continued prayers for the loved ones of those impacted. We will continue to fully cooperate with authorities and work to ensure that the appropriate counseling resources are available to all members of the organization.”

The Panthers released their own statement about the situation:

“The Carolina Panthers are very saddened by the tragic events that have transpired today and send their thoughts and prayers to the entire Kansas City Chiefs organization and to the family of the victim at this most difficult time.”

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