KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles has released a statement regarding this weekend's tragedy that ended at Arrowhead Stadium that claimed the lives of his wife's cousin and teammate Jovan Belcher.
According to police, Belcher, a linebacker for the Chiefs, shot and killed Charles' wife's cousin, Kasandra Perkins, in the home she and Belcher shared before taking his own life at the training facility at Arrowhead Stadium.
Belcher and Perkins were in a relationship and had a 3-month-old daughter together. A motive for the shootings has not been revealed.
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"Our family has suffered a personal tragic loss," Charles said in the statement, released through a family spokesperson. "Kasandra Perkins was in fact first cousin to my wife, Whitney. As this is a very tough time for our family, I ask that we are respected as we grieve. "
Charles was absent from the Chiefs' locker room after the Chiefs' 27-21 victory over the Panthers on Sunday and has not spoken publicly since Saturday's events.
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Charles said Perkins was not only family, but a friend and a loving mother.
"As my actual family and my Kansas City Chiefs family have been altered forever, we ask that you keep us and most importantly their child in prayer."
In a separate statement released by the same family spokesperson, Perkins' family gave thanks for the "outpouring of love and concern" following her death.
"Our hearts are truly broken, for Kasi was a beloved daughter, granddaughter, sister, mother, cousin and friend," the second statement reads. "At this time we request the media respect our privacy during this difficult time as we grieve for our loved one.
The family asked to be kept in prayers, and also asked for prayers for Belcher's family.
"Our wish is for Kasi to be remembered for the love she shared with us all," the statement reads. "Kasi will be truly missed!"