By ELLYN MARKS
pix11.com | @MarksPIX
6:38 AM EST, December 3, 2012
Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher would have played Sunday afternoon to take on the Carolina Panthers at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City. Instead, his teammates suited up without him, in mourning, after Belcher shot and killed the mother of their infant girl before taking his own life.
Outside the house in West Babylon, Long Island where Belcher grew up, family members hugged each other in grief in front of a shrine full of trophies, jerseys, balloons and candles.
"It shocks all of us 'cause he was never a person like that, said Belcher's cousin, Eric Oates, 20. "He would never try to hurt people."
Belcher got into a heated argument with his girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins, 22, when she came home late from a concert Friday night. The next morning, he opened fired on her inside their Missouri home in front of his own mother, who was staying with the couple to help take care of their infant. The un-drafted player then drove to Arrow Stadium, thanked his coach and general manager for the opportunity, walked away and shot himself in the head.
Eric Oakes, wearing his cousin's jersey, said the one-time West Babylon High School star was possibly feeling pressure in every corner of his life.
"Just having a newborn baby, things going on with the team, him getting injuries," Oakes said.
The family told PIX 11 that Belcher's mother will be returning to West Babylon with the now orphaned 3-month-old girl, where she plans to raise her in the same house where she raised her son.
Late Sunday afternoon, Belcher's team beat the Panthers 27 to 21. It was only the Chiefs' second win in 12 games. Oakes believes his cousin had something to do with it in spirit.
"I think God will let him come down and be a part of all of them," said Oakes.
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