DALLAS — On December 1, Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher murdered his girlfriend Kasandra Perkins and then drove to Arrowhead Stadium, where he killed himself.
Kasandra grew up in North Texas. Now, for the first time, her mother, from Arlington, is speaking publicly about that painful day.
"When I received the call, I could tell in the voice of the person that something was wrong," said Kasandra's mother, Becky Gonzalez. "I asked them are they about to tell me something bad? And they said, 'yes.'"
"I tried to prepare myself and think of the worst thing that could happen. The thing that came to my mind was losing my child, and that's what she said. So my worst nightmare came true."
Kasandra's mother never saw it coming, and never dreamed that she would be saying goodbye to her daughter at such a young age.
"It just devastated our family," Gonzalez said. "She was precious to us and a friend to everyone, and it’s changed us forever. And now we have a little girl to raise."
Three month old Zoey will grow up with no parents.
"I see my daughter in [Zoey's] eyes, and that brings me joy, and I know that she's continuing on through her daughter," Gonzalez said. "I don't know how anybody could, who loved their child, could put them in that type of position. Obviously he must have felt he didn't have another choice."
A police report obtained by the Kansas City Star states that Belcher had sent a text message to a friend weeks before the murder, claiming that he would shoot Kasandra if she didn't leave him alone.
"If that person would have spoken up, let her know, let her have the chance to protect herself and taken it seriously... really, that's what it boils down to, is taking it seriously... then things could have been really different," Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez likes what Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings is doing by holding a rally against domestic abuse this weekend. She is hoping her story will make a difference and help stem the rising tide of domestic violence.
"I don't want her death to be in vain," Gonzalez said. "She was too important. She needs to have stood for something, and in a way, it does feel like I’m honoring her this way."
"You want to retaliate, or protect in some way. In our circumstance, there was no one to take it out on. There is no one to be angry at. There is no one left," Gonzalez said.
In the meantime, Gonzalez and her family are still left in a custody battle for baby Zoey.