NATIONAL NEWS

At least 8 children among 22 hit by gunfire at end of Chiefs’ Super Bowl parade; 1 person killed

Feb 13, 2024, 10:22 PM | Updated: Feb 14, 2024, 9:14 pm

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Eight children were among 22 people hit by gunfire in a shooting at the end of Wednesday’s parade to celebrate the Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl win, authorities said, sending terrified fans running for cover as yet another high-profile public event was marred by gun violence. One of those victims — a mother of two identified by her radio station as a DJ — was killed.

Kansas City Police Chief Stacey Graves said three people had been detained as part of the investigation. She said she has heard that fans may have been involved in tackling a suspect but couldn’t immediately confirm that.

“I’m angry at what happened today. The people who came to this celebration should expect a safe environment.” Graves said. Police did not immediately release any details about the people who were detained or about a possible motive for the shootings. She said firearms had been recovered, but not what kind.

“All of that is being actively investigated,” she said.

It is the latest sports celebration in the U.S. to end in gun violence, following a shooting that injured several people last year in downtown Denver after the Nuggets’ NBA championship, and gunfire last year at a parking lot near the Texas Rangers’ World Series championship parade.

Social media users posted shocking video of police running through a crowded scene as people hurriedly scrambled for cover and fled. One video showed someone apparently performing chest compressions on a shooting victim as another person, seemingly writhing in pain, lay on the ground nearby. People screamed in the background.

Another video showed two people chase and tackle a person, holding them down until two police officers arrived.

Radio station KKFI said in a Facebook post Wednesday evening that Lisa Lopez-Galvan, host of “Taste of Tejano,” was killed in the shooting.

“This senseless act has taken a beautiful person from her family and this KC Community,” KKFI said in a statement.

Lopez-Galvan, whose DJ name was “Lisa G,” was an extrovert and devoted mother from a prominent Latino family in the area, said Rosa Izurieta and Martha Ramirez, two childhood friends who worked with her at a staffing company. Izurieta said Lopez-Galvan had attended the parade with her husband and her adult son, a die-hard Kansas City sports fan who also was shot.

“She’s the type of person who would jump in front of a bullet for anybody — that would be Lisa,” Izurieta said.

The shooting outside Union Station happened despite more than 800 police officers who were in the building and around the area, including on top of nearby buildings, said Mayor Quinton Lucas, who attended with his wife and mother and had to run for cover when gunfire broke out.

“I think that’s something that all of us who are parents, who are just regular people living each day, have to decide what we wish to do about,” Lucas said. “Parades, rallies, schools, movies. It seems like almost nothing is safe.”

Kansas City has long struggled with gun violence, and in 2020 it was among nine cities targeted by the U.S. Justice Department in an effort to crack down on violent crime. In 2023 the city matched a record with 182 homicides, most of which involved guns.

Lucas has joined with mayors across the country in calling for new laws to reduce gun violence, including mandating universal background checks.

Lisa Money, a resident of the city, was trying to gather some confetti near the end of the parade when she heard somebody yell, “Down, down, everybody down!”

At first Money thought somebody might be joking until she saw the SWAT team jumping over the fence.

“I can’t believe it really happened. Who in their right mind would do something like this? This is supposed to be a day of celebration for everybody in the city and the surrounding area. And then you’ve got some idiot that wants to come along and do something like this,” she said.

Kevin Sanders, 53, of Lenexa, Kansas, said he heard what sounded like firecrackers and then people started running. After that initial flurry, calm returned, and he didn’t think much of it. But 10 minutes later, ambulances started showing up.

“It sucks that someone had to ruin the celebration, but we are in a big city,” Sanders said.

University Health spokeswoman Nancy Lewis said the hospital was treating eight gunshot victims. Two were in critical condition and six were in stable condition, she said. The hospital also was treating four people for other injuries resulting from the chaos after the shooting, Lewis said.

Lisa Augustine, spokesperson for Children’s Mercy Kansas City, said the hospital was treating 12 patients from the rally, including 11 children, some of whom suffered gunshot wounds.

St. Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City received one gunshot patient in critical condition and three walk-ins with injuries that were not life-threatening, spokesperson Laurel Gifford said.

“When you have this many casualties, it’s going to get spread out among a lot of hospitals so that you don’t overwhelm any single ER,” said Jill Jensen Chadwick, news director for University of Kansas Health System, which received at least one person injured in the shooting.

Chiefs trainer Rick Burkholder said that he was with coach Andy Reid and other coaches and staff members at the time of the shooting, and that the team was on buses and returning to Arrowhead Stadium.

“We are truly saddened by the senseless act of violence that occurred outside of Union Station at the conclusion of today’s parade and rally,” the team said in a statement.

Missouri’s Republican Gov. Mike Parson and first lady Teresa Parson were at the parade during the gunfire but were unhurt. “Thanks to the professionalism of our security officers and first responders, Teresa and I and our staff are safe and secure,” Parson said in a statement.

President Joe Biden said the shooting “cuts deep in the American soul” and called on people to press Congress to ban assault weapons, to limit high-capacity gun magazines and for other gun measures that have been rejected by Republicans.

“Today’s events should move us, shock us, shame us into acting. What are we waiting for?” he said.

Biden noted that Wednesday was the anniversary of the 2018 high schoool shooting in Parkland, Florida, that killed 17 people and said there have been more mass shootings in 2024 “than there have been days in the year.”

Areas that had been filled with crowds were empty after the shooting, with police and firefighters standing and talking behind an area restricted by yellow tape.

Throngs had lined the route earlier, with fans climbing trees and street poles or standing on rooftops for a better view. Players rolled through the crowd on double-decker buses, as DJs and drummers heralded their arrival. Owner Clark Hunt was on one of the buses, holding the Lombardi Trophy.

The city and the team each chipped in around $1 million for the event commemorating Travis Kelce, Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs becoming the first team since Tom Brady and the New England Patriots two decades ago to defend their title.

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Associated Press writers Scott McFetridge in Des Moines, Iowa; Jim Salter in St. Louis; Josh Funk in Omaha, Nebraska; Summer Ballentine in Columbia, Missouri; and John Hanna in Topeka, Kansas, contributed to this report.

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This story has been corrected to attribute a quote about hospitals receiving patients to Jill Jensen Chadwick, not Laurel Gifford.

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At least 8 children among 22 hit by gunfire at end of Chiefs’ Super Bowl parade; 1 person killed