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Kansas City Chiefs play after Jovan Belcher shooting

Kansas City Chiefs players huddle in prayer in the tunnel to the field before their game against the Carolina Panthers at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri, 2 December 2012
Image caption Kansas City Chiefs players huddled in prayer before taking to the field

The Kansas City Chiefs have hosted an NFL game at the stadium where a day earlier one of their players killed himself after shooting his girlfriend.

The crowd observed a moment's silence for victims of domestic violence before the noon (18:00 GMT) kick-off against the Carolina Panthers.

But there was no mention of linebacker Jovan Belcher, who shot himself in front of his coach shortly after shooting Kasandra Perkins, 22.

Kansas City went on to win the game.

The club says it is co-operating with authorities in their investigation.

Baby orphaned

Twenty-five year-old Belcher shot Ms Perkins several times after a row at their house five miles (8km) away from Arrowhead, early on Saturday morning.

The couple had a three-month-old daughter who was believed to have been in a nearby room at the time of the shooting. Belcher's mother, who was also in the house, called the police.

Image caption First-team linebacker Belcher had started in all 11 games this season

Meanwhile, Belcher drove his Bentley to a training facility at the stadium where police sent to the scene saw the player holding a handgun to his head, talking to the Chiefs' general manager, Scott Pioli and coach, Romeo Crennel.

Belcher is said to have thanked the two men for giving him a chance in the NFL before shooting himself.

According to local TV station KMBC 9, a friend of Ms Perkins said the couple had squabbled the previous night but that there had been no evidence of any other problems between them.

Chiefs quarterback Brady Quinn said the news of the deaths was broken to the team at a meeting with Mr Crennel later on Saturday morning.

"It was obviously tough for coach to have to tell us that," Quinn told the Kansas City Star. "He really wasn't able to finish talking to us. We got together and prayed and then we moved on."

Image caption Friends and relatives mourned outside Belcher's childhood home

Belcher, who had been with the Chiefs for four years, had played in all 11 games this season. Other players offered condolences on Twitter.

"I am devastated by this mornings events," tweeted linebacker Tamba Hali. "I want to send my thoughts and prayers out to everyone effected by this tragedy."

Friends and relatives gathered at Belcher's childhood home on Long Island for an impromptu vigil on Saturday.

The shootings come after criticism of the team's senior management, following a poor start to the season which had seen the team record eight consecutive losses before Sunday's game, which they won 27-21.

A demonstration against the team's leadership which had been scheduled for Sunday was called off after the deaths.

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