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Kansas City is the latest city left to grapple with the aftermath of a mass shooting


Twenty-one people were hurt and one woman was killed when a celebration turned to tragedy in Kansas City.


The Chiefs came home for a victory rally to celebrate their Super Bowl win. But just as the players were leaving the stage and the celebration was winding down, gunshots were heard, and people started running. Police say at least three people believed to be connected to the shooting were arrested.

MARTÍNEZ: Frank Morris of member station KCUR is covering the story. Joins us now from Kansas City. Frank, Chiefs fans had a lot to be happy about the last couple of years, and yesterday was supposed to be a very happy day, and it was really awful to see so many people running for their lives. What more do we know about what happened?

FRANK MORRIS, BYLINE: Well, we learned that the person killed was Lisa Lopez-Galvan. She was a popular radio disc jockey and dedicated Kansas City Chiefs fan. She died in surgery. She had two children. Lots of children turned out for the parade. Nine of them were shot. Stephanie Meyer, senior vice president at Children's Mercy Hospital, where the children were treated, says the kids they brought in there were terrified.

STEPHANIE MEYER: Fear. The one word I would use to describe what we saw and how they felt when they came to us was fear.

MORRIS: Meyer says all the kids treated at Children's Mercy are doing well and expected to recover. The patients are also expecting visits from members of the Kansas City Chiefs.

MARTÍNEZ: All right. So that's a little - at least a little bit of good news. What do we know about the people that police have in custody? And do we have any idea of why they - what happened?

MORRIS: No. That's what everybody wants to know. Police haven't released a motive or the names of the suspects. Police arrested three people. At least one of them was carrying a weapon. There was a huge police presence at the event, and some of the crowd reportedly helped bring down one of the suspects. But Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas says it wasn't enough to stop people with guns from destroying what had been a joyous event.

QUINTON LUCAS: We had over 800 officers there, staffed, situated all around Union Station. We had security in any number of places, eyes on top of buildings and beyond. And there still is a risk to people. The parades, rallies, schools, movies, it seems like almost nothing is safe.

MARTÍNEZ: This was supposed to be a really happy day. Their - you know, the team wins a Super Bowl, and we know the players were there just as all of this was going down. What was the scene leading up to the shooting?

MORRIS: Well, the weather was beautiful. I mean, it was sunny, cool, clear, bright, blue sky. The whole event was packed with families, their kids all over playing football in the side streets, dancing, smiling from their parent's shoulders, and the schools canceled classes. They declared it a red snow day so kids could enjoy the parade. Lots of them were there wearing the red number 15 jersey of Kansas City star quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Many others chose the number 87 worn by Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce. Throughout the season, especially the run up to the Super Bowl, that relationship between Kelce and his girlfriend, Taylor Swift, brought new fans into the game, and I spoke with people before the shooting, and 12-year-old Sloan Pete (ph) said that Swift made her a Chiefs fan.

SLOAN PETE: I watched it with my family at first, but now I watch, like, all the games just to see her.

MORRIS: And Sloan's mom, Kim Pete (ph), was like a lot of parents, was just basking in the joy of the moment.

KIM PETE: It's good. It's good for the city. I mean, such good memories for these kids. They're very lucky to have all these celebrations.

MORRIS: All that joy turned to fear and anger when shots rang out yesterday afternoon. At first, people thought it was fireworks wrapping up the event, but panic spread through the crowd. People stumbled to get away, some leaving chairs, backpacks and baby strollers behind. This morning, authorities continue to investigate the crime, and everyone else is coping with the bewildering anguish that comes after a mass shooting.

MARTÍNEZ: That's Frank Morris, reporter with member station KCUR. Frank, thank you.

MORRIS: Thank you, A. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

A Martínez is one of the hosts of Morning Edition and Up First. He came to NPR in 2021 and is based out of NPR West.