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  • Writer's pictureTim Carpenter, Kansas Reflector

Kansas politicians absorb shock of joyous Chiefs celebration turning into violent tragedy


Gov. Laura Kelly, U.S. Sen. Roger Marshall and U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids, who represent Kansas in Topeka and Washington, shared dismay at a shooting at conclusion of a parade and rally for the Kansas City Chiefs at Union Station in Kansas City, Missouri. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)


By Tim Carpenter, Kansas Reflector


TOPEKA — Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly and Missouri Gov. Mike Parson were safely evacuated Wednesday from the celebration honoring the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs after gunfire erupted outside Union Station in Kansas City, Missouri, and killed at least one person and injured dozens, officials said.


“Today, a day that should have been a celebration of the Chiefs’ remarkable skill and success, has turned into a day of mourning,” Kelly said. “This senseless act of violence goes against everything Kansas City and the Chiefs Kingdom stand for.”


Parson was among thousands of fans who attended the parade and celebration after the Chiefs’ victory Sunday over the San Francisco 49ers to seal back-to-back NFL championships.

“As we wait to learn more, our hearts go out to the victims,” the Missouri governor’s statement said.


Kristin Bowen took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to urge the Missouri Republican and Kansas Democrat to “seriously commit to partnering and doing more to ensure something like this mass trauma never happens again. Better gun laws are needed.”


Tara Bennet, a volunteer with the Kansas City chapter of Moms Demand Action who was attending the parade, said it was “absurd that we cannot celebrate our city’s victory without fearing for our lives at the same time. We won’t be broken by this. We are Kansas City Strong.”


The Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department said three people had been taken into custody. The Kansas City Star reported a Johnson County resident died after shooting began as the rally ended around 2 p.m. Wednesday.


The Kansas City Chiefs issued a statement saying all players, coaches, staff and their families were accounted for and denounced the “senseless act of violence.”


Mayor Quinton Lucas said people assembled for the celebration were compelled to become “members of this club that none of us want to be a part of, which is those who have experienced mass shootings.”


U.S. Sen. Roger Marshall, a Kansas Republican, said he joined fans who came together to experience the conclusion of a joyous season that culminated in the overtime win in the Super Bowl.


“I am devastated and angered by the senseless act of violence that turned a day of celebration for our community into a complete tragedy,” Marshall said. “My heart breaks for those who were a victim of this needless violence. I am praying for everyone and the entire KC community.”


U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids, a Democrat serving the Kansas City area on the Kansas side of the state line, said she appreciated bravery and coordination of law enforcement officers, first responders and health care workers who helped with the evacuation and provided medical care for victims.


“Though our community stands together in the present, the traumatic memories of today will stick with children, families and community members for far too long. This does not reflect the spirit of Kansas City, and I support those asking for a change to ensure a brighter and safer future,” Davids said.


U.S. Rep. Jake LaTurner, a Kansas Republican, said individuals responsible for the shooting must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.


“There is absolutely no place in our society for this kind of evil hatred,” LaTurner said.


Meanwhile, Kansas House Speaker Dan Hawkins, a Wichita Republican, said he was heartbroken a celebration of success was shattered by violence.


“On a day that should be about celebrating the success of the Chiefs and the Kansas City area, it’s heartbreaking to hear of the lawlessness that occurred after the parade,” Hawkins said. “I appreciate our hard-working law enforcement officers for risking their own lives to keep others safe.”


This article was reprinted with permission from the Kansas Reflector. The Kansas Reflector is a non-profit online news organization serving Kansas. For more information on the organization, go to its website at www.kansasreflector.com.

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