UNITED STATES

Shooting after Chiefs Super Bowl parade seemed to stem from dispute among several people, police say

Feb 15, 2024, 10:02 AM

kansas city parade shooting...

A law enforcement officer looks around the scene following a shooting at the Kansas City Chiefs NFL football Super Bowl celebration in Kansas City, Mo., Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024. Multiple people were injured, a fire official said.(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Authorities in Kansas City said Thursday that the mass shooting that unfolded amid throngs of people at the Chiefs’ Super Bowl celebration appeared to stem from a dispute between several people.

Police Chief Stacey Graves said that 22 people injured in the shooting ranged between the ages of 8 and 47 years old, half of whom were under the age of 16. A mother of two was also killed.

Three people were detained — including two are juveniles — and firearms were recovered during the mayhem, police said. But investigators are calling for witnesses, people with cellphone footage and victims of the violence to call a dedicated hotline.

“We are working to determine the involvement of others. And it should be noted we have recovered several firearms. This incident is still a very active investigation,” Graves said at a news conference.

The shooting outside Union Station occurred despite the presence of more than 800 police officers who were in the building and nearby, including on top of nearby structures, said Mayor Quinton Lucas, who attended with his wife and mother and ran for safety when the shots rang out. But he doesn’t expect to cancel upcoming St. Patrick’s Day parade.

“We have parades all the time. I don’t think they’ll end. Certainly we recognized the public safety challenges and issues that relate to them,” Lucas said.

Throngs had lined the parade route before the shooting, 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.

It’s unclear exactly how many people attended the Chief’s Super Bowl parade. When the Kansas City Royals won the World Series in 2015, an estimated 800,000 people had flocked to that victory parade, shattering expectations in a city with a population of about 470,000 and a metropolitan area of about 2 million.

Witnesses described confusion as gunshots began, sounding to some like fireworks.

Some people didn’t run at first but others immediately scrambled for cover. The rally music initially continued playing despite the havoc. And then, within moments of the shooting stopping, some people were walking as if nothing happened.

Gene Hamilton, 61, of Wichita, Kansas, said he found it unnerving that the upbeat rally music continued among the confusion.

“If people are shooting, they should change the music,” he said.

Ashley Coderre, a 36-year-old from Overland Park, Kansas, said she heard two or three shots after walking out of a Panera near Crown Center, a couple blocks from Union Station. She said people were running and yelling.

Then suddenly she said people were walking around like nothing had happened: “We were so confused.”

It is the latest sports celebration in the U.S. to be marred by gun violence, following a shooting that wounded several people last year in 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 Wednesday’s crowded scene as people scrambled for cover and fled. One video showed someone apparently performing chest compressions on a 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. In an interview Thursday with ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Trey Filter of Wichita, Kansas, said he saw someone being chased and took action.

“I couldn’t see much. I heard, ‘Get ’em!’ I saw a flash next to me. And I remember I jumped and remember thinking, ‘I hope this is the fool they were talking about,'” he said. “They started yelling that, ‘There’s a gun! There’s a gun!’”

Filter said he and another man kept the person pinned down until officers arrived. “I remember the officers pulling my feet off of him and at that point I was just looking for my wife and kids,” he said.

It was not immediately clear if the person he held down was involved in the shooting, but Filter’s wife, Casey, saw a gun nearby and picked it up.

The woman killed in the shooting was identified by radio station KKFI-FM as Lisa Lopez-Galvan, host of “Taste of Tejano.”

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.

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

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.

“We did everything to make this event as safe as possible,” Lucas, a Democrat, said in an interview on KMBC-TV Thursday. “But as long as we have fools who will commit these types of acts, as long as we have their access to firearms with this level of capacity, then we may see incidents like this one.”

The parade and rally were the third in five years after Chiefs’ Super Bowl wins. Lucas said it may be time to reconsider how to handle the next one if they win again, perhaps holding a “vastly smaller event” at Arrowhead Stadium, with fans going through metal detectors.

Lisa Money of Kansas City was trying to gather some confetti near the end of the parade when she heard somebody yell, “Down, down, everybody down!” At first she thought it might be a joke, until she saw the SWAT team jumping over the fence.

“I can’t believe it really happened,” Money said. “Who in their right mind would do something like this?”

University Health spokesperson Leslie Carto said two of the eight gunshot victims brought to the hospital are still in critical condition. One is in stable condition. The other five have been discharged. The hospital also treated four people from the rally who had nongunshot injuries. Three of those patients were discharged, Carto said.

Stephanie Meyer, chief nursing officer for Children’s Mercy Kansas City, said it was treating 12 patients from the rally, including 11 children between the ages of 6 and 15, many of whom suffered gunshot wounds. All were expected to recover, she said.

When asked about the condition of the children, Meyer responded: “Fear. The one word I would use to describe what we saw and how they came to us was fear.”

St. Luke’s Hospital spokesperson Emily Hohenberg said one gunshot victim at the hospital remains in critical condition. Four people who suffered injuries while fleeing the aftermath of the shooting were treated and released.

___

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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Shooting after Chiefs Super Bowl parade seemed to stem from dispute among several people, police say