Originally posted on Fox Sports Kansas City  |  Last updated 12/3/12
KANSAS CITY, Mo. Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel, one of the last people to see Jovan Belcher alive, said he didn't know what was troubling Belcher at that fateful moment Saturday morning shortly before Belcher took his own life with a single gunshot to the head. Crennel, who did not specifically address Saturday's events during his press conference after Sunday's win over Carolina, did so Monday. Crennel acknowledged that he and general manager Scott Pioli encountered Belcher in the parking lot outside the team's practice facility. Crennel could see that Belcher had a gun with him, but said that he did not know that Belcher had just an hour or so before shot and killed his girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins, at their home in eastern Kansas City. "He hadn't told me anything about that," Crennel said. "I didn't know what had happened. All I knew was that there was a player with a gun and I know that's not a good thing." Crennel added that he had never seen Belcher carry a gun before. "Never, ever," Crennel said. Crennel then attempted to urge Belcher not to commit any acts of violence with the gun. "I was trying to get him to understand that life is not over," Crennel said, "and that he still has a chance, and let's get this worked out." Belcher, though, moments later moved behind a vehicle as he saw police arrive in the parking lot. Then Belcher shot himself. Crennel said he does not second-guess his approach with Belcher that morning. "No, I don't question what I said at all," he said. Exactly what put Belcher in the state of mind to commit the murder-suicide remains a mystery, and apparently Belcher did not confide in Crennel that he was under extraordinary stress. "He didn't talk about major troubles in his life," Crennel said. "Everybody has issues in their personal life. All of us here have issues in their personal life. We all handle them differently. And from dealing with Jovan, he seemed like a strong individual. "He was a leader. He sat in front in the classroom. He led the drills. You're surprised by the events that took place." Dealing with the aftermath of Belcher's rage is the primary focus now for Crennel, who has been trying to reconcile the player he knew with the one who committed the heinous act Saturday morning. "What Javon did we're not crazy about," Crennel said. "We didn't like it. But he is still part of our family. You go out into society and things like that happen in society and you don't see people throw family members out the door. They're still loved by family members. But you don't like the act. "And so, now, you move on and deal with it. You don't have a choice. You have to move on." Step one for Crennel was coming back into work on Monday and stepping through the same parking lot where Belcher shot himself. "It was like any day walking through the door and walking through the parking lot," he said. "But you think about the events. But the events are over and you can't undo them. "I'm in a good mental state. My daughters and my wife tell me I'm crazy and that something should be wrong with me. But I can deal with stress and I can deal with grief. I'm dealing with it by trying to be the leader these young men need. They're young and they need a good leader. "We know we have to deal with the events of the last few days. It's not over. And for some of us we'll be dealing with it for the rest of our lives. But time heals all wounds. So we'll start working on the time thing." Crennel said the tragic events of the weekend have not changed his philosophy, and perhaps may have even reconfirmed his approach. "Nothing is promised to us in this life," he said. "You need to live your life the best way you can because tomorrow is not promised."
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