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Shooting at Kansas City Super Bowl Rally Probably Stemmed From Argument, Police Say

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The authorities said they had taken three people into custody, including two people who were younger than 18. The shooting left one person dead and 22 more injured.

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Crowds Flee Scene of Shooting Near Kansas City Super Bowl Parade

The shooting broke out as thousands of people gathered to celebrate Kansas City’s Super Bowl victory.

[gunshots] Keep going. What’s going on? What is it? [sirens]

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The shooting broke out as thousands of people gathered to celebrate Kansas City’s Super Bowl victory.CreditCredit…Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Feb. 15, 2024Updated 4:02 p.m. ET

The authorities in Kansas City, Mo., said on Thursday that a shooting that tore through the city’s Super Bowl celebration, killing one person and wounding nearly two dozen others, appeared to have stemmed from an argument between several people.

Stacey Graves, the city’s police chief, said there was no indication that the shooting was connected to terrorism. At least 22 people were wounded, in addition to the woman who died, and they ranged in age from 8 to 47 years old, Chief Graves said. At least half of the wounded were younger than 16.

The authorities have said that three people were detained in connection to the shooting on Wednesday afternoon. Two of them, the police said, were younger than 18. No charges have been filed.

“I’m angered about what occurred in our city yesterday,” Chief Graves said.

The person who died was identified as Elizabeth Galvan, 43, a local D.J. who was also known as Lisa Lopez-Galvan. A friend described her as a passionate fan of the city’s football team who was deeply involved in civic events and hosted a radio show.

The shooting erupted as thousands of football fans had crowded into downtown Kansas City after the Chiefs’ Super Bowl win, suddenly turning a day of revelry into one of chaos and panic. As shots rang out, people ran for cover.

Chief Graves praised the response of her department’s officers and firefighters, and also noted that civilians themselves had sprung into action. Videos had captured two parade attendees tackling a person as others ran from gunshots.

“It was just a reaction,” Paul Contreras, who said he had tackled a man after hearing someone else yell to stop him, told NBC’s “Today” show. “I took him down, and as I took him down, I saw the weapon — the gun — fall to the ground,” he said.

Videos showed that two men held the person down until police arrived. Chief Graves lauded the revelers’ efforts.

“Those in attendance also responded,” Chief Graves said. “They helped one another and even physically stopped a person who was believed to be involved in the incident.”

The shooting took place near the city’s Union Station, a hub that draws tourists to the city each year.

The shock of gun violence pierced an otherwise idyllic winter afternoon, with bright sunshine and temperatures in the 60s greeting a city ready to rejoice in what had become close to an annual rite of February as Kansas City’s team has become the dominant force in the National Football League.

Columns of fans, many wearing red, had lined the two-mile parade route, celebrating the Kansas City Chiefs’ second consecutive Super Bowl victory and third in five seasons, waving at players, coaches and team officials riding past in open-top red buses.

Among the crowd was Ms. Lopez-Galvan, the D.J., whose radio show, “Taste of Tejano,” was broadcast on KKFI, a local radio station. She had two young adult children, a son and a daughter, and the radio station said in a social media post on Thursday that the son, Marc, had been shot in the leg but was treated at a hospital and released.

Ms. Lopez-Galvan was known to watch football games with close friends in her garage, according to one friend. That friend, Lisa Lopez, said she and Ms. Lopez-Galvan, who were not related, would often call each other “tocaya,” Spanish for “namesake,” because of their similar names.

Ms. Lopez described Ms. Lopez-Galvan as the life of the party, and said she had recently joined a group that helped to organize Fiesta Hispana, an annual festival in downtown Kansas City.

“She was loved by everybody in our community,” said Ms. Lopez, who is an executive administrative assistant at The Kansas City Star newspaper. “Our Hispanic community lost a beautiful, wonderful person.”

Ms. Lopez said that her friend also had been a big fan of the Chiefs. Ms. Lopez-Galvan was superstitious about watching the team’s games each week with the same people, hoping it was good luck for the team, her friend recalled. In fact, she said, Ms. Lopez-Galvan would not let anyone new join the group.

After Kansas City won the Super Bowl on Sunday, Ms. Lopez-Galvan had texted Ms. Lopez to ask if she could save her a newspaper commemorating the team’s win.

The Super Bowl parade officially began at 11 a.m. and ended with a rally at Union Station, the century-old rail depot that has been redeveloped into a destination with shops, restaurants and a science center.

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People who gathered to celebrate the Chiefs’ Super Bowl victory take cover.Credit…Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Around 2 p.m., shots were fired on the west side of Union Station. “I know one of the suspects was immediately pursued on foot,” Chief Graves said at a news conference on Wednesday.

Dana Brady and her 14-year-old daughter heard a “pop, pop, pop,” and they froze for a moment, Ms. Brady recalled. Then a blur of people ran toward them, she said, and Ms. Brady and her daughter began trying to climb over barricades in search of safety. Eventually, they ran into Union Station. They sat down beside a woman and her young children, who were crying.

“We talked about this in school,” Ms. Brady said, recounting a conversation among the children. “To turn off our phones and be very quiet.”

Local hospitals said that they had at least seven people still in treatment on Thursday, including at least three patients in critical condition. Of the 12 patients taken to one hospital, Children’s Mercy, 11 were children between the ages of 6 and 15.

Police at the once-crowded area near the stage that had been set up for the celebration.Credit…Christopher Smith for The New York Times

Jacob Gooch Sr. said he was standing near the southwest side of Union Station when, like others in the area, he heard noises that sounded like fireworks. When his ankle felt hot, he thought a spark had burned him. He said he tried to run, and then fell, crawling to get away.

In the chaos, Mr. Gooch lost his group, which included his girlfriend and son, who he said were both also shot. His son, he said, now has a bullet lodged in the bottom of his foot.

“I can’t believe my family got hit,” Mr. Gooch said. “It’s crazy to think someone had a gun pointed at you and pulled the trigger.”

Moments after she heard gunshots, Chasitty Logsdon, a 39-year-old nurse from Louisville, Ky., said she ran over to a man on the ground nearby, blood pooling around him. A woman beside the man told Ms. Logsdon that he had been shot in the head, so Ms. Logsdon took his pulse and started doing compressions. Once medics arrived, Ms. Logsdon said, they took over. She said she knew she had to do what she could to try to save the man.

“If that was my someone,” Ms. Logsdon said she remembered thinking, “I would want the same thing.”

The governors of Kansas and Missouri were both at the rally. Gov. Laura Kelly of Kansas had to be evacuated, and she posted on social media that she had been taken “out of harm’s way.” Gov. Mike Parson of Missouri and his wife were both “safe and secure,” the governor’s office said on social media.

Quinton Lucas, the mayor of Kansas City, Mo., said he was at the parade with his wife and mother, and was in Union Station when he heard gunfire.

“When you have people who decide to bring guns to events, when you have people who are deciding to try to mar events — celebratory ones, like this one — all of us start to become members of this club that none of us want to be a part of,” Mr. Lucas said.

Kansas City players posted messages of support on social media. Patrick Mahomes, the quarterback who led his team to victory over San Francisco on Sunday, said he was “praying for Kansas City.” The tight end Travis Kelce wrote that he was “heartbroken,” adding, “KC, you mean the world to me.”

Gun violence has been falling in some parts of the country, but Kansas City, Mo., saw a record number of homicides in 2023. There were 183 murders last year, more than the previous record of 179 in 2020.

Reporting was contributed by Traci Angel, Gaya Gupta, Robert Gebeloff, Jesus Jiménez and Ben Shpigel. Susan C. Beachy and Sheelagh McNeill contributed research.

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