8 to 10 people injured after shooting near Kansas City Chiefs parade, official says

Heather Hollingsworth, Associated Press

Posted on Wednesday, February 14, 2024 3:41 pm EST

Last updated Wednesday February 14, 2024 3:52 pm EST

KANSAS CITY (AP) – Shots were fired at the end of the Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl parade Wednesday, wounding eight to 10 people, a fire official said.

Fire Department Battalion Chief Michael Hopkins declined to comment further, saying only that additional information would be released soon.

Police said in a news release that two people were detained. Fans were urged to leave the area as quickly as possible.

Kansas City police said in Police also asked witnesses to the shooting to go to a corner near Union Station.

The shooting broke the celebratory Valentine’s Day mood as Chiefs fans celebrated their third Super Bowl title in five seasons.

“We’re racking up trophies,” linebacker Drue Tranquill said as he grabbed a reporter’s microphone during Wednesday’s festivities commemorating the Chiefs’ comeback, 25-22 overtime victory over the San Francisco 49ers.

Confetti cannons exploded from double-decker buses as players made their way through the crowd, DJs and drummers announcing their arrival. Crowds lined the route, with fans climbing trees and street posts, or standing on rooftops to get a better view. Owner Clark Hunt was on one of those buses, holding the Lombardi Trophy. Former “Modern Family” star Eric Stonestreet was part of the mob.

“The best fans in the world,” exclaimed receiver Mecole Hardman, who caught the winning touchdown pass, as he walked down the route, with players signing jerseys and at least one person’s head.

“Never stop,” added running back Isiah Pacheco from the route.

The key on many fans’ minds is whether pop superstar Taylor Swift would join her boyfriend Travis Kelce for the parade and victory speeches. Swift has not commented. She has a show in Melbourne, Australia, on Friday night, the first of three concerts scheduled on her Eras Tour.

She was nowhere to be seen at the beginning of the parade. Instead, Kelce was joined by her mother, NFL mom superstar Donna Kelce (her eldest son, Jason Kelce, is a center for the Philadelphia Eagles).

Unusually warm temperatures in the 60s Fahrenheit (15-20 degrees Celsius) caused players to remove their jerseys. The weather also helped generate a crowd that city officials estimate could exceed one million.

“I missed last year. I said, ‘I’m not going to miss this year,'” said lifelong fan Charles Smith Sr., who flew from his home in Sicklerville, New Jersey, to attend the parade.

Known to his friends as Kansas City Smitty, the 52-year-old first became a Chiefs fan when Christian Okoye played fullback for the team in the late 1980s.

“I have a history with this team,” he said, adding that he ran out of his house with a giant flag, shouting “Kansas City,” when the Chiefs won in overtime.

The city and the team each contributed about $1 million to the event that commemorates 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.

Some fans camped overnight and others began staking out spots before dawn to hit the best viewing spots. Bailey McDermott, 17, and Gracie Gilby, 16, from Lebanon, Missouri, got up at 3 a.m. to make the three-hour drive to the parade. They had a watch party and bursts of confetti erupted when the Chiefs won.

“I finally went crazy,” said Gilby, who was wearing sequined Chiefs jerseys and Kelce’s No. 87. McDermott also had a sequined jersey, his own with Mahomes’ No. 15.

Many of the area’s largest school districts have canceled classes, and businesses along the parade route are turning the day into a holiday for their workers. At least 600 Kansas City police officers will be stationed along the 2-mile (3.22-kilometer) route, Police Chief Stacey Graves said.

Teenagers and younger children were everywhere, some throwing soccer balls, others watching replays of match highlights on giant television screens.

Among them was Elysseah Buford and her friend, Devaun Burns, who watched the game while taking orders at McDonald’s. “We’re losing. We’re losing,” Buford remembers saying. But Burns scolded her, even when a coach declared the game a lost cause: “I told him, ‘Don’t talk about it. Believe it.'”

Raymore’s 18-year-old high school senior joined the festivities with another friend, 17-year-old Mekiyzeion Williams, who dared to ask what would have happened if Hardman missed the TD catch. “Shut up,” Burns said.

After decades without a championship, the city is gaining experience with victory parades. Five seasons ago, the Chiefs defeated the 49ers to win 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 road so they could walk to the celebration.

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

A big change this year is that the parade will begin an hour early, at 11 a.m., to allow the crowds to clear before Valentine’s Day dinner arrives.

After the massive cleanup, the team prepares to try again.

“It never gets old,” Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, before joining the celebration.

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