One dead, 21 wounded in shooting near Kansas City Super Bowl parade

Police have taken three people into custody for investigation after a shooting during a parade for the Kansas City Chiefs.

A woman on a stretcher is loaded into an ambulance.
Gunfire struck multiple people at a celebration for the Kansas City Chiefs football team on February 14 in Kansas City, Missouri [Charlie Riedel/AP Photo]

At least one person has been shot dead in the US city of Kansas during a parade celebrating the Kansas City Chiefs’s Super Bowl victory.

Police said 21 others were wounded during Wednesday’s mass shooting. Eight of them were children.

Kansas City Police Chief Stacey Graves detailed the toll of the shooting at a news conference and said three people had been taken into custody. She said she had heard that fans may have been involved in apprehending a suspect but could not immediately confirm that.

“I’m angry at what happened today. The people who came to this celebration should expect a safe environment,” she said.

Graves did not immediately release any details about the people taken into custody or about a possible motive for the shootings. Firearms had been recovered, she said, but did not say what kind of weapons were used.

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

Social media users posted videos 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 chasing and tackling a person, holding them down until two police officers arrived.

Local radio station KKFI identified the slain victim as Lisa Lopez, one of its disc jockeys and host of the show Taste of Tejano.

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

Two Kansas City Chiefs fans run for safety as gunfire breaks out during a victory celebration.
Fans evacuate the celebration area after gunfire broke out in Kansas City, Missouri, on February 14 [David Rainey/USA TODAY Sports]

Local fire chief Ross Grundyson said eight of the victims were “what we consider to be immediately life-threatening patients”.

“We had seven with life-threatening injuries. We had six that had minor injuries,” he added.

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas said the prevalence of firearms and gun violence in the United States made it difficult to provide complete security for any public event, even with some 800 law enforcement officers on patrol for the Chiefs’ victory parade and rally.

“Parades, rallies, schools, movies – it seems like almost nothing is safe,” Quinton told reporters, recounting how he was among those who ran for cover at the sound of gunshots.

“I’m incredibly upset, disappointed. I was there with my wife, I was there with my mother. We never would have thought that we – along with Chiefs players, along with fans, hundreds of thousands of people – would be forced to run for our safety today,” he added.

A first responder looks at an IV drip for a woman whose leg is propped up on his leg. She wears a white sweatshirt and appears to be in pain. She sits on a bench with a man in a ballcap.
First responders treat the injured after a Super Bowl victory rally was interrupted by gunfire on February 14 [Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports]

Before the shooting, the day was one of jubilation, as Kansas City residents lined the streets to cheer on the Chiefs, an American football team, after their second consecutive victory at the annual Super Bowl championship games. The event was the culmination of the National Football League’s (NFL) playoff season and results in one team walking away with the coveted Vince Lombardi Trophy.

At Sunday’s Super Bowl game, the Chiefs came from behind to beat the San Francisco 49ers in a game that was ultimately decided in overtime.

For Wednesday’s hometown celebrations, fans and local celebrities filled the centre of Kansas City, where cannons fired confetti and DJs played music. The players themselves piled into double-decker buses to lead the parade and wave to fans.

However, that mood of celebration quickly turned into fear, with police officers rushing towards the area where the shooting took place with their guns drawn and ambulances quickly arriving.

All of the Chiefs players, coaches and staff who attended the victory rally were accounted for and safe, the NFL team said in a statement.

“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 Chiefs said. “Our hearts go out to the victims, their families and all of Kansas City.”

Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce said he was “heartbroken” by the shooting.

“KC, you mean the world to me,” he posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Quarterback and Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes said in a post on X, “Praying for Kansas City.” He included three emojis of hands in prayer.

Another player, linebacker Drue Tranquill, likewise offered prayers “for all the victims in this heinous act”.

“Pray that doctors [and] first responders would have steady hands [and] that all would experience full healing,” he posted.

Kansas state Governor Laura Kelly was at the scene and described what she experienced on social media afterwards.

“At the end of the Chiefs rally, shots were fired near Union Station,” she wrote. “I have been evacuated and am out of harm’s way.”

Three police officers stand in an empty field surrounded by empty Solo cups after gunfire dispersed a Super Bowl celebration.
Police respond to the scene of a shooting that disrupted Super Bowl festivities in Kansas City, Missouri [David Rainey/USA TODAY Sports]

As he has after so many previous mass shootings, US President Joe Biden called for the enactment of tougher gun control measures.

Biden said he and his wife “pray for those killed and injured today in Kansas City, and for our country to find the resolve to end this senseless epidemic of gun violence”.

The Gun Violence Archive, a research nonprofit, has tallied 48 mass shootings so far this year in the US, defined as incidents where four or more people are struck by gunfire, not including the attacker.

Mayor Lucas spoke about the high rates of gun violence in his remarks.

“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, which is those who have experienced mass shootings,” he said.

“I hope, for Kansas City, this is one of the last times we experience those.”

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies