Belcher's mom says she loves son, slain girlfriend

By MARIA SUDEKUM | AP Published:

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The days since Jovan Belcher killed his girlfriend then shot himself in the head have been very difficult for his mother, who said Wednesday that the slayings have not diminished her love for the couple.

Belcher's mother, Cheryl Shepherd, had been living with the Kansas City Chiefs linebacker and 22-year-old Kasandra Perkins to help care for their 3-month-old daughter, Zoey, and was at the couple's home Saturday morning when Perkins was shot.

"That's my son, and I love him," Shepherd said in a brief telephone conversation Wednesday. "She's my daughter-in-law, just like my daughter."

Belcher shot Perkins at their Kansas City home then drove with a handgun to Arrowhead Stadium, where he thanked Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli and coach Romeo Crennel for all they had done for him. The men tried to persuade Belcher to put the gun down, but when police arrived, Belcher moved behind a vehicle in the practice facility's parking lot, knelt down and shot himself in the head, police said.

Shepherd, 54, said she was not happy about the release Wednesday of recordings of the emergency phone call she made Saturday after Perkins was shot.

"I just got a phone call that they did that, and I don't appreciate it," she said. "Right now I don't want to talk about it."

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