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Police dispute question over paternity led to Belcher shooting

The SportsXchange

Jovan Belcher may have argued with girlfriend Kasandra Perkins over the paternity of their 11-week-old baby before shooting her and later killing himself, according to a report.

Belcher's mother, Cheryl Shepherd, told police investigators that he wasn't sure he was the father of the child, Zoey, the New York Post reported Friday. The Kansas City Chiefs linebacker shot Perkins nine times at their home on Dec. 1 in Kansas City.

As Kansas City police wrapped up the investigation and gave their findings to prosecutors Friday morning, a department spokesman said paternity was an issue in the case and called the Post report inaccurate.

"I talked to the lead detective and he said not one witness has come forward mentioning paternity," police spokesman Darin Snapp said.

Belcher, who was in his fourth season with the Chiefs, kissed Perkins after the shooting and the baby before leaving the scene, The Kansas City Star reported. He then drove to the Chiefs' practice facility and shot himself in front of team personnel.

"The mother believed that there was an issue over whether (Belcher) was the father" and that he "wasn't necessarily the father of the child," a source told the Post.

However, Snapp said Shepherd gave no indication to police that there was a question about the baby's father.

"She did not mention anything at all regarding an argument over paternity," Snapp said. Shepherd was present during the shooting and called 911. She now has custody of the baby and said the family plans to help raise the child. A permanent guardian has yet to be named.

The Chiefs have established a trust fund for Zoey, who also stands to collect more than $1 million in benefits from the NFL Players Association's surviving-child fund.

Belcher's beneficiary also will get $600,000 in life insurance, a $100,000 retirement account and $200,000 for each season he played.

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