1 dead, at least 21 others wounded in shooting following Chiefs Super Bowl celebration rally, officials say

Originally Published: 14 FEB 24 10:25 ET
Updated: 14 FEB 24 20:30 ET

(CNN) — A shooting at the Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl victory rally left at least one person dead and at least 21 others wounded Wednesday, officials said, shattering a joyous afternoon for the massive crowd celebrating the Chiefs latest NFL title. Three people are in custody for questioning.

Authorities are still working to determine a total number of victims, Kansas City Police Chief Stacey Graves said.

In addition to the fatality, 21 other people suffered gunshot wounds, Kansas City Fire Chief Ross Grundyson said.

The shooting is just the latest instance of gun violence disrupting American life at places once considered safe. This one was at a sports celebration with a huge crowd. Others have been at churchesschoolsgrocery stores, outlet malls, hospitalscollege campuses and house parties. In June 2023, two people were shot as fans were leaving a celebration of the Denver Nuggets’ NBA title.

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

CNN spoke with four hospitals that received 29 patients from the shooting. Officials said 19 of those people were treated for gunshot wounds. Three of the wounded were in critical condition, hospital officials said.

An estimated 1 million people were in downtown Kansas City celebrating their team’s back-to-back Super Bowl championship, and the area where the shooting took place in Union Station was steps away from where the team held a victory rally for thousands of fans after the parade ended.

Children were able to come see their football heroes as school districts in the Kansas City metro area had canceled classes to allow students to attend the celebration.

Players were still on the stage of the Chiefs’ victory rally when the shooting took place, mingling with each other after it had ended. While some people had begun filtering out of the area, it was still packed with fans – who began to flee in fear after the sound of the shots.

Graves said guns were recovered at the scene but she couldn’t specify how many. More than 800 law enforcement officers were in the area for the event when the shooting happened on the west side of Union Station, she said.

All of the Chiefs players, coaches and staff who attended are safe and accounted for, Mayor Quinton Lucas said at the news conference.

A celebration marred

Madison Anderes, 24, said she thought fireworks were going off but, but a man in front of them turned and yelled, “He’s got a gun. He’s got a gun.”

She said she heard more pops; these were louder.

“That’s when all chaos broke out,” Anderes said, who 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.”

The celebration started with Chiefs players crowded on double-decker buses, waving to fans as they rolled through the city. Star tight end Travis Kelce was spotted on the same bus as Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes but it did not appear that his girlfriend, megastar musician Taylor Swift, was able to make the trip. Swift has tour dates in Australia this weekend.

It didn’t take long for some players to leave their rides to walk the parade route, high-fiving fans and some even handing out a few libations to people who had been waiting throughout the morning to cheer on the Chiefs.

A victory rally following the parade featured several players toasting the team’s connection with the city – statements made all the more poignant in the aftermath as people fled in fear.

“Everything we did this year was because of you guys,” said Chris Jones, the team’s standout defensive lineman.

“Chiefs Kingdom, y’all are the reason we do what we do,” Mahomes said. After the shooting, he posted on X: “Praying for Kansas City.”

The Chiefs have cemented themselves as the NFL’s latest dynasty with this championship, their third in five years. Mahomes, who at 28 years of age has already made a claim to the title of greatest quarterback ever, ran along the parade route with his arms outstretched – a similar pose to the one he made after tossing the winning touchdown in overtime on Sunday.

Mahomes certainly enjoyed last year’s parade, too, at one point handing a fan the Lombardi Trophy and then apparently forgetting about it as he walked away. Chiefs owner Clark Hunt held onto the trophy this year, keeping it aboard his double-decker bus and away from the grasp of his quarterback – and any fans with whom he might have left it.

Championship parades are often a time for players to let loose and blow off steam as they revel in their victory ahead of the offseason. In a virtual news conference on Tuesday, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid told reporters it has been “mentioned a couple of times” to his players not to go too overboard with the celebrations.

“It’s great to have fun but be smart,” he added.

Joe Hennessy, a reporter for local station KCTV, posted a video on X of Chiefs fans arriving at the parade route at 4 a.m. to secure their places at the front.

“Chiefs fans are built different!” he wrote.

This is a breaking story and will be updated.

CNN’s Sarah Dewberry and David Close contributed to this report.

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