Investigators Search for What Motivated Shooting That Left 1 Dead and 20+ Injured At Chiefs Super Bowl Celebration

Nouran Salahieh, CNN

*(CNN) — Police are working to determine who opened fire and what motivated a shooting that killed one and wounded more than 20 others at the end of the Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl victory rally, sending fans clad in red jerseys running, taking cover or tending to others on the ground as law enforcement swarmed the area, confetti still blowing in the wind.

An estimated 1 million people had gathered just steps away from Union Station in downtown Kansas City, Missouri, for the parade and rally to mark the Chiefs’ repeat championship win Wednesday, with players still on the stage when chaos erupted to the sound of gunshots. Multiple people were shot, including children, authorities said.

Three people were detained as officers converged on the scene, according to Kansas City Police Chief Stacey Graves, who added that guns were recovered at the scene but didn’t specify how many.

No charges had been announced as of Wednesday night and no suspects had been named.

Chiefs Super Bowl parade (Kirby Lee-USA Today Sports-Reuters)
Chiefs Super Bowl parade (Kirby Lee-USA Today Sports-Reuters)

As the investigation gets underway, several unanswered questions remain: how many people opened fire during the event, how many shots were fired, and what motivated the violence that turned a day of celebration into a tragedy?

“We do not have a motive, but we are asking those who may potentially have any kind of information, a witness or video, to contact police,” the police chief said at a Wednesday news conference.

The shooting marked the latest setting where Americans saw a sense of safety punctured by gun violence, following shootings at churchesschoolsgrocery stores, outlet malls, and other locations. The violence Wednesday was at least the 48th mass shooting in the United States so far this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive, which like CNN defines a mass shooting as one in which four or more people are shot, not including the shooter.

“I am angry at what happened today,” the Kansas City police chief said Wednesday. “The people who came to this celebration should expect a safe environment.”

Police are collecting physical and digital evidence, interviewing witnesses, and asking victims some questions, Graves said.

Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl parade shooting - kctv
Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl parade shooting – kctv

The FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives both responded to Kansas City to help local police, according to a Justice Department spokesperson.

“There’s a lot of work ahead in this is just the beginning stages, but we’re moving as fast as we can,” she said.

Police have so far not identified the person who died in the shooting.

KKFI radio 90.1 FM said its employee, Kansas City-area radio DJ Lisa Lopez-Galvan, died after being shot at the rally. Police have not provided any details on her death.

“We are absolutely devastated at the loss of such an amazing person who gave so much to KKFI and the KC community,” Kelly Dougherty, the station’s director of development and communications, said in an email to CNN.


Chiefs Super Bowl Parade (David Eulitt-Getty Images)
Chiefs Super Bowl Parade (David Eulitt-Getty Images)

Authorities are still working to determine the total number of victims, Graves said Wednesday. CNN spoke with four hospitals that together received 29 patients from the shooting, 19 of them with gunshot wounds.

Children’s Mercy Hospital received 11 children between the ages six and 15 from the scene of the shooting, including nine who were shot, according to hospital spokesperson Lisa Augustine.

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas said the shooting will not be forgotten.

“This is absolutely a tragedy the likes of which we would have never expected in Kansas City and the likes of which we will remember for some time,” the mayor said at a Wednesday news conference.

Suspect in KC Chiefs Super Bowl Victory parade shooting - screenshot
Suspect in KC Chiefs Super Bowl Victory parade shooting – screenshot

Police detain a person tackled by fans

Paul Contreras was at the event with his daughters when people started running.

He then saw someone moving “in the opposite direction” and heard someone yell to stop him, Contreras told CNN’s Erin Burnett on Wednesday.

Contreras said he hit the person from behind and tackled him, knocking a gun to the ground in the process. Two other attendees then stepped in to help hold the person down.

“You don’t think about it. It’s just a reaction,” Contreras said.

Video shows police arriving at the scene and handcuffing the person, who was pinned to the ground.

“He was fighting the whole time,” Contreras told CNN. “And we were fighting him to keep him down.”

It’s unclear if the person who was tackled by Contreras was one of the three people that Kansas City police said were detained following the shooting.

“We are working to determine if one of the three are the one that was in (a) video where fans assisted police,”Graves told reporters.

‘I felt like I was going to die’

The celebration started with Chiefs players on double-decker buses, including Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes, waving to fans as they rolled through the city. Some players left their rides to walk the parade route, high-fiving fans along the way.

A victory rally following the parade featured several players toasting the team’s connection with the city. The event had just wrapped up when gunshots rang out.

Manny Abarca, the former treasurer of the Kansas City Public School Board, told CNN’s Laura Coates that he and his 5-year-old daughter had left the main stage area when they heard screams and saw a flood of people running toward them.

“People were saying ‘guns, police, run,’” Abarca said.

He said he immediately picked up his daughter and sheltered in a nearby restaurant with Kansas City Chiefs players, owners, family members and Chiefs head coach Andy Reid.

Abarca said his daughter went into “protocol mode,” telling her father, “This is like training.”

Madison Anderes, 24, told CNN she was at the event with her brother and mother when they heard what they at first thought were fireworks.

“He’s got a gun! He’s got a gun!” someone then yelled, before a second round of pops went off, this time significantly louder. “That’s when all chaos broke out.”

Anderes was knocked down on the ground when everyone started running.

“I felt like I was going to die, I felt like a sitting duck and I was going to get shot,” she said.

Anderes then got up and ran with her brother and mother to a storefront, where about 10 other people were huddling, she said. At that point, she said she saw law enforcement enter the scene.

Mayor Lucas said he was at Union Station when the shooting happened.

“I was inside of Union Station, we heard something, a number of us start running and I see a stream of officers going the exact other direction in with guns drawn, ready to address danger,” Lucas said. “People who responded absolutely immediately. But I wish that we lived in a world where they wouldn’t have to do that.”

The mayor said hundreds of officers were at the event, with security stationed in locations throughout the area and on top of buildings, and yet, multiple people were shot “in a matter of moments.”

“It seems like almost nothing is safe and we had hundreds of law enforcement,” the mayor said.

The Kansas City Chiefs said its players, coaches and staff are all accounted for and safe. “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 in a statement.

Kansas City Chiefs star tight end Travis Kelce expressed anguish over the shooting.

“I am heartbroken over the tragedy that took place today. My heart is with all who came out to celebrate with us and have been affected. KC, you mean the world to me,” Kelce said in a post on X.

President Joe Biden in a statement said that the Super Bowl win should have been a joyous occasion.

“For this joy to be turned to tragedy today in Kansas City cuts deep in the American soul. Today’s events should move us, shock us, shame us into acting. What are we waiting for? What else do we need to see? How many more families need to be torn apart?”

MORE NEWS ON EURWEB: Chiefs Shooting Update: 1 Dead, At Least 14 Injured After Team’s Super Bowl Parade + PHOTO & Video of Suspected Shooters-LOOK!

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