Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher fatally shot his girlfriend early yesterday, then drove to Arrowhead Stadium and committed suicide in front of his coach and general manager after first thanking them for everything they had done for him, police said.

Authorities did not immediately release a possible motive for the murder-suicide, which stunned the pro football team and came one day before a home game against the Carolina Panthers. The National Football League said the game would go on as scheduled.

Belcher, a 25-year-old native of West Babylon, New York, on Long Island, played all four of his NFL seasons for the Chiefs and played in every game each year, including the 11 so far this season.

Before turning the gun on himself, Belcher thanked Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli and coach Romeo Crennel for all they had done for him, a police spokesman said.