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Kansas State Collegian

Kansas State Collegian

The independent student news publication at Kansas State University

Kansas State Collegian

Mass shooting at Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl victory rally leaves one dead and multiple injured

Suspects are in custody and KCPD continues to investigate following Wednesday’s shooting
The Kansas City Chiefs’ Rally on Feb. 14 began around 1 p.m. Fans gathered to celebrate the Super Bowl LVIII victory. Around 2 p.m. a shooting occurred, leading to a prompt evacuation of the Union Station area. (Photo courtesy of Bret Beard)

The Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl rally ended with one person dead and 22 injured. Shots were fired around 2 p.m. Wednesday on the west side of Union Station, according to a Thursday press update from the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department.

The deceased victim was identified as Elizabeth Lopez-Galvin, a radio show host for KKFI 90.1.

The victims range between 8 and 47 years old. Nine of the victims injured by gunshots are children.

KCPD has two juvenile suspects in custody. A third juvenile was detained but released Thursday. The remaining suspects have not been identified or charged.

After hearing shots, Chiefs fan Paul Contreras saw someone running away, with others yelling to stop him. In an interview with KETV, Contreras said he didn’t hesitate. 

“I didn’t think about it,” Contreras said. “So I went to go tackle him and another gentleman did the same thing.”

After tackling him, Contraras said he saw a weapon fall from the fleeing person’s hand. 

Police Chief Stacy Graves praised fans’ reaction to the shooting. 

“Those in attendance also responded,” Graves said. “They helped one another, and even physically stopped a person who was believed to be involved in the incident.”

Kari Burkhart, Dodge City resident and elementary school teacher, said the Super Bowl celebration felt unsafe from its start. 

“I’ve never seen that many people in one spot in all my life,” Burkhart said. “I literally thought to myself, ‘If somebody started shooting right now, when we were like more than wall-to-wall people, that this won’t be good,’ because there were so many little kids in the crowd that parents were trying to get through and find a place to stand.”

Graves said she is “angry about what happened” regarding the attack. 

“We had over 800 law enforcement officers, Kansas City and other agencies, at the location to keep everyone safe,” Graves said. “Because of bad actors, which were very few, this tragedy occurred.”

Burkhart said she didn’t notice a heavy police presence at the victory parade.

“The only police I saw were standing up in a skywalk,” Burkhart said. “That was it. There [weren’t] any cops in and amongst the crowd that I noticed.”

After leaving the parade site, Burkhart realized something was wrong.

“A KC Fire Department Suburban came flying around us and turned the corner where it was headed back around the block, back towards [Union Station], and I thought, ‘Uh oh, that’s not just for somebody passing out — somebody’s hurt,’” Burkhart said. 

Kansas City Missouri Fire Department Chief Ross Grundyson said the emergency response was rapid and prepared. 

“We had one fatality that was on-scene, eight critical, seven serious and six patients with minor injuries,” Grundyson said. “All the critical patients were transported off the scene within 10 minutes of our point of contact with them.” 

Grundyson said the fire department “had a plan in place, and we were ready to respond to an incident like this.” 

Burkhart said police should have been “more present” to prevent the attack. 

“From what I saw there was not enough security,” Burkhart said. “Not enough. I mean, maybe they were up more towards the stage to protect the players, but I feel like everybody’s important in a situation like that.”

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas said the city plans to continue throwing parade celebrations. 

“We have plans for a St. Patrick’s Day parade in Kansas City,” Lucas said. “We have parades all the time. I don’t think they’ll end. Certainly, we recognise the public safety challenges at issue that relate to them.”

The investigation into the shooting remains ongoing. Those with information can submit a report to the tips page on the FBI website, or call a dedicated tip line at 816-413-3477. 

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About the Contributors
Meredith McCalmon, news editor
News editor for 2023-24. Previously writer for 2022-23.
Cole Bertelsen, copy chief
Copy chief for 2023-24. Previously asst. copy chief for 2022-23.
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