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One dead, 15 hurt during shooting at Chiefs’ parade

The Kansas City Chiefs celebrate during their victory parade in Kansas City, Mo., Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024. The Chiefs defeated the San Francisco 49ers Sunday in the NFL Super Bowl 58 football game. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — One person was killed and up to 15 were injured in a shooting at the end of the parade to celebrate the Super Bowl win by the Kansas City Chiefs, sending terrified fans running for cover and marring yet another high-profile public event with gun violence.

Kansas City Police Chief Stacey Graves detailed the shooting’s toll at a news conference and said two people had been taken into custody. She said she has heard that fans may have been involved in apprehending a suspect but couldn’t confirm that.

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

Social media users posted shocking video. One user’s 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 onlookers chase down and tackle someone, holding that person down until two police officers arrived.

Lisa Money of Kansas City, Kansas, 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 running. After that initial flurry, calm returned, and he didn’t think much of it. But he said 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.

Lisa Augustine, spokesperson for Children’s Mercy Kansas City, said the hospital “is receiving patients from the rally.” She didn’t know how many or immediately offer any details about their injuries.

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

The University of Kansas Health System was treating one person wounded in the shooting, said Jill Jensen Chadwick, news director for the health system. She didn’t know the person’s condition.

“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,” she said.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson and the first lady were at the parade when shots were fired but are safe, Parson posted on X.

“State law enforcement personnel are assisting local authorities in response efforts,” Parson posted. “As we wait to learn more, our hearts go out to the victims.”

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

“This is absolutely a tragedy, the likes of which we never would have expected in Kansas City, the likes of which we’ll remember for some time,” Mayor Quinton Lucas said.

After the Denver Nuggets’ championship parade last year, a shooting took place in downtown Denver that injured two people, though police said they didn’t believe the incident was associated with the actual celebration. Also last year, an argument resulted in shots being fired at a parking lot near the Texas Rangers’ World Series championship parade. Nobody was injured.

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, with fans climbing trees and street poles, or standing on rooftops for a better view. Players rolled through the crowd on double-decker buses, DJs and drummers heralding their arrival. Owner Clark Hunt was on one of those 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.

After decades without a championship, the city is gaining experience with victory parades. Five seasons ago, the Chiefs defeated the 49ers for the team’s first Super Bowl championship in 50 years. That followed the Kansas City Royals winning the World Series in 2015, the city’s first baseball championship in 30 years. That year, fans abandoned their cars on the side of the highway so they could walk to the celebration.

Then, last year, the Chiefs defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 38-35 and prophetically vowed they would be back for more.

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