One person dead, at least 20 injured after shooting at Chiefs Super Bowl parade in Kansas City

One person died and 21 others were wounded at a city Super Bowl victory rally Wednesday and three people are in custody, Kansas City officials said, after gunfire shattered a joyous afternoon as a massive crowd celebrated the Chiefs latest NFL title. 

"We have confirmed there is one deceased person," Kansas City Police Chief Stacey Graves said at a Wednesday news conference, adding authorities are still working on a total number of victims. 

Kansas City Fire Chief Ross Grundyson said there were 21 other gunshot victims, eight who had what he referred to as "immediate life-threatening injuries," seven with life-threatening injuries and six with minor wounds. 

"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." 

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. 

Police respond after gun shots were fired after the celebration of the Kansas City Chiefs winning Super Bowl LVIII.
Police respond after gun shots were fired after the celebration of the Kansas City Chiefs winning Super Bowl LVIII. Photo credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

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 more than 800 law enforcement officers were in the area for the event when the shooting happened on the west side of Union Station. 

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

Kansas City Chiefs fans get ready for the Super Bowl victory parade.
Kansas City Chiefs fans get ready for the Super Bowl victory parade. Photo credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

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." 

Some Chiefs fans arrived in the early hours of the morning to secure a prime spot.
Some Chiefs fans arrived in the early hours of the morning to secure a prime spot. Photo credit: Amy Kontras/AFP/Getty Images

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.