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Kansas City shooting stemmed from personal dispute, officials say

Kansas City shooting stemmed from personal dispute, officials say

Tooba Shakir 54 years ago 0 0

The deadly shooting that turned a celebration for the Kansas City Chiefs into a tragedy on Wednesday appeared to stem from a dispute among several people and had “no nexus to terrorism or homegrown violent extremism,” officials said Thursday morning.

Kansas City Police Chief Stacey Graves said at a briefing that two of three people detained are juveniles. None has been charged yet, and additional detentions or arrests are possible, she said.

The shooting occurred about 2 p.m. amid a crowd of fans outside the city’s Union Station as the parade and rally for the Super Bowl champions drew to a close. At the sound of gunfire, people fled in every direction while police and first responders began swarming the scene. The three people were taken into custody a short time later.

One woman was killed and 22 people were injured in a matter of minutes. The victims’ ages range from 8 to 47, Graves said, and at least half are younger than 16.

“This incident is still a very active investigation,” she noted. Authorities must charge the people in custody within 24 hours or release them, she said, adding that “we have all intentions of presenting charges.”

A statement from the University Health hospital in Kansas City said three gunshot victims remained there Thursday, including two in critical condition. Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City was continuing to treat one victim, who was still listed as in critical condition Thursday. Children’s Mercy had received a dozen victims, nine with gunshot wounds, in the aftermath of the rally. All are expected to recover, according to a hospital spokesperson.

Parade-goers filmed on Feb. 14 the moment fans brought down an alleged shooter as he was running through the crowd in Kansas City, Mo. (Video: The Washington Post)

Mayor Quinton Lucas expressed concerns about his city hosting another public celebration like Wednesday’s, which drew about 1 million jubilant spectators to the city’s downtown.

“I’d be lying to you if I didn’t say that we’ll probably evaluate in the event that we’re blessed to have another Super Bowl championship,” Lucas said in an interview Thursday morning, wondering whether future gatherings would need to be held at a stadium or other location where attendees would be wanded at security checkpoints.

The shooting was the latest to upend a community’s celebration with deadly violence. And with parades coming up on St. Patrick’s Day next month, “my city and many American cities will be tested,” Lucas said. “Is this just something we live with in the same way that we’re living with school shootings and the threat to movie theaters and the threat to bowling alleys?”

“That’s something mayors and police chiefs will be thinking about,” he added.

Lucas said he had spoken Thursday morning with Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) about a 2022 shooting — by a 21-year-old man armed with an semiautomatic rifle — that left seven people dead and several dozen wounded at a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Ill. Lucas said he told Pritzker that “I shouldn’t be surprised that something like this could happen at a parade or rally, but you always are.”

The city continued to clean up the scene, which was littered the morning after with fans’ folding chairs, Chiefs regalia, and red and yellow confetti. The Jackson County prosecutor’s office was offering counseling services Thursday for members of the public feeling traumatized by what they witnessed.

The woman who was fatally shot was identified as Lisa Lopez-Galvan, a mother of two and local DJ whose weekly radio show featured Tejano music. Station KKFI announced her death “with sincere sadness and an extremely heavy and broken heart.”

A deadly shooting erupted in Kansas City, Mo., following the parade for the Chief’s Super Bowl victory on Feb. 14. (Video: HyoJung Kim/The Washington Post)

Kansas City last year recorded 185 homicides, making 2023 the city’s deadliest year ever. The mayor said the “biggest challenge” is the modification of firearms as well as “the ongoing presence of semiautomatic weapons.”

“We are seeing more things with a lot of people getting hit, even unintentionally. I’m not going to get ahead of the facts here, but it is something that I think is a very real concern,” he said.

One security expert, Michael Chertoff, former secretary of the federal Department of Homeland Security, also raised the issue of ensuring safety with such open events. In a stadium, he noted, “you can screen people for bringing in weapons or things that are dangerous, potential bombs. And you also can funnel them in through a portal that gives you control over everybody who comes in. Obviously, when you’re dealing with the street, you don’t have that capability.”

Officials declined Thursday to comment on the kinds of weapons used in the parade shooting. Missouri, which has some of the nation’s laxest gun laws, has no age minimum for possession of a firearm, though federal law prohibits minors from possessing handguns except in rare circumstances. A bill that Missouri legislators passed three years ago declared federal gun laws invalid and prohibited state and local authorities from enforcing them, but that law is tied up in court.

In 2023, the legislature rejected a proposal to ban minors from carrying firearms on public land without adult supervision, with some Republicans calling it an infringement on Second Amendment rights.

The city’s police department had put out tips earlier in the week urging Chiefs parade attendees “to be prepared,” but those focused primarily on children getting separated from their parents and how to navigate traffic congestion. In a caution that now carries much different meaning, the department warned, “Cellphones probably will not work. Make a plan with your family or group for a meet-up point should you become separated.”

Joanna Slater and Les Carpenter contributed to this report.

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