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Kansas City shooting was not an act of terrorism or homegrown violence, say police

People flee after shots were fired near the Kansas City Chiefs' Super Bowl victory parade on Feb.14 in Kansas City, Mo.
Andrew Caballero-Reynolds
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AFP via Getty Images
People flee after shots were fired near the Kansas City Chiefs' Super Bowl victory parade on Feb.14 in Kansas City, Mo.

Updated February 14, 2024 at 5:44 PM ET

One person was killed and up to 10 to 15 others were injured after shots were fired Wednesday afternoon near Union Station in Kansas City, Mo., at the conclusion of a celebration for the Kansas City Chiefs' Super Bowl win, officials said.

Officers took two armed individuals into custody, Kansas City Police Chief Stacey Graves said at a news conference. One suspect was captured after a foot chase with officers, she said.

"I'm angry at what happened today," Graves said. "The people who came to this celebration should expect a safe environment."

"This is not Kansas City," she added at the end of the news conference.

It's unclear yet how many fans were attendance, but NPR member station KCUR said that during last year's victory parade close to 1 million flooded downtown for the rally.

In preparation for the expected crowd size, 800 law enforcement officers were on scene for the parade, Graves said. The heavy police presence helped in getting fans to safety once the shooting began and in administering life-saving aid to gunshot victims, she said.

The shooting started right after the parade rally ended and came from the west of Union Station, Graves said. Videos captured of the scene and shared on social media show crowds of people running away from Union Station as officers rushed in.

It's still unclear if any of the victims were children, according to Graves. Though, many families were in attendance.

Kansas City Chiefs fans gather at Union Station for a Super Bowl victory rally in Kansas City, Mo., on Wednesday.
Reed Hoffmann / AP
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AP
Kansas City Chiefs fans gather at Union Station for a Super Bowl victory rally in Kansas City, Mo., on Wednesday.

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas said during Wednesday's press conference that he had debated bringing his own child to the celebration. He was at the parade along with his wife and mother, he said.

"I, like many others, ran for safety," when the shooting began, Lucas said.

In a message directed at the city's residents, the mayor said he is angry adding that he's "heartbroken."

"This is a day that a lot of people look forward to, something they remember for a lifetime. What they shouldn't have to remember is the threat of gun violence marring a day like this, injuring them and their families," he said.

Other dignitaries were at the victory rally as well.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson and first lady Teresa Parson as well as Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly were in attendance at the parade when shots were heard.

"State law enforcement personnel are assisting local authorities in response efforts. As we wait to learn more, our hearts go out to the victims," Gov. Parson said on X, formerly Twitter.

Kelly said she was evacuated from the scene and "out of harm's way."

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who just hours before was riding triumphantly through the city, also took to social media following news of the tragedy. He posted,"Praying for Kansas City..."

Mayor Lucas said the Chiefs have been in contact with officials and shared that the team's players, coaches and staff were all accounted for and safe.

The day started off celebratory with thousands of fans draped in the team's colors of red, white and black as members of the team rode a bus through the city's downtown.

The parade was scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. local time with a rally to start at Union Station right after the parade ended, around 12:45 p.m.

Police issued reports of shots fired at around 2:30 p.m. CST.

Police said they will share more information at the next news conference at 6 p.m. ET.

This is a developing story and will be updated. Follow live coverage on member station KCUR.

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Vanessa Romo is a reporter for NPR's News Desk. She covers breaking news on a wide range of topics, weighing in daily on everything from immigration and the treatment of migrant children, to a war-crimes trial where a witness claimed he was the actual killer, to an alleged sex cult. She has also covered the occasional cat-clinging-to-the-hood-of-a-car story.
Amanda Orr
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