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

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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 21 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 woman who died was identified as Elizabeth Galvan, 43.

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 shooting, which erupted as thousands of football fans had crowded into downtown Kansas City after the Chiefs’ Super Bowl win, suddenly turned a day of revelry into one of chaos and confusion. 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 one parade attendee tackling a person as others ran from the gunshots.

“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.

The parade — planned “with the safety and security of fans in mind,” according to the Kansas City Sports Commission — 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.

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.”

Children’s Mercy Hospital said on Wednesday that it was treating 12 people who were injured in the shooting, including the 11 children and one mother who would not leave her child. None of the children were in critical condition, and all were expected to recover.

Other victims were taken to University Health, formerly Truman Medical Center, where eight were being treated for gunshot wounds, including two in critical condition, Keith King, a hospital spokesman, said on Wednesday. And one victim with a gunshot wound was in critical condition at Saint Luke’s Hospital, said Laurel Gifford, a hospital spokeswoman. University Health and Saint Luke’s were also treating people with other injuries.

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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