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Families of Belcher, Perkins talk

 
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP)

The families of Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher and of the girlfriend he shot and killed before killing himself spoke out Monday, two days after the tragic incidents.

Belcher’s family says it is having difficulty dealing with the "inconceivable tragedy." Police say Belcher shot and killed Kasandra Perkins on Saturday at their Kansas City home before driving to Arrowhead Stadium, where Belcher committed suicide in the practice facility's parking lot.

One of Belcher's cousins, Yamiesse (yah-MEES') Lawrence, read a statement outside Belcher's boyhood home in West Babylon, N.Y., on Monday, saying words can't express the sorrow the family feels. Lawrence said the family is "overwhelmed with both sadness and confusion," and extends thoughts and prayers to the Perkins family.

Belcher's niece, Quaresha (kwahr-EE'-shuh) Boston, said the football player "embraced life and excelled at all he put his energy behind" and that God alone could "mend our hearts."

The family of 22-year-old Perkins, meanwhile, says it is broken-hearted. The Perkins family issued an emailed statement Monday saying it has appreciated the ''outpouring of love and support'' and asked for privacy ''during this difficult time.'' The family also asked that people keep the Belcher family in their prayers.

Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles and his wife, Whitney, released a separate statement Monday, confirming that Perkins and Whitney Charles are cousins.

Their statement said Perkins ''was not only family, but a friend and a loving mother.''

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