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From Kansas City: The Chief's Super Bowl parade and the shooting that followed

JUANA SUMMERS, HOST:

Just minutes after the victory celebration for the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs ended today, shots rang out nearby. Fans and Chiefs personnel fled during the chaos, and police now say that at least one person is dead and more than 20 injured. Among those are children. Officials also say that they have detained three suspects and recovered weapons from the scene. Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas said he and his wife were among those who fled the gunshots. He spoke to reporters earlier this evening.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

QUINTON LUCAS: Parades, rallies, schools, movies - it seems like almost nothing is safe. And we had hundreds of law enforcement there working hard today.

SUMMERS: Frank Morris with member station KCUR was at that rally and is following this breaking story for us. Hi, Frank.

FRANK MORRIS, BYLINE: Hi, Juana.

SUMMERS: I mean, Frank, this was a celebration that so many people there in Kansas City were looking forward to, so many Chiefs fans were. Just tell us what happened.

MORRIS: Ah, well, you know, it was a beautiful day. The sky was clear. It was about 55 degrees. Lots more people showed up for this parade than the other two Super Bowl parades we've had in the last few years because the weather was so nice. People were just packed along the parade route. Everybody's wearing red. Sky's blue. You got this gold and red confetti all fluttering around. And then just at the end of the rally, the rally where all the players spoke and all thanks were exchanged, there was gunshots - shots fired right outside Union Station, the big 100-year-old train station in Kansas City where the rally took place. Kansas City, Mo. Police Chief Stacey Graves spoke with reporters later.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

STACEY GRAVES: I'm angry at what happened today. The people who came to this celebration should expect a safe environment. We had over 800 law enforcement officers, Kansas City and other agencies, at the location to keep everyone safe. Because of bad actors, which were very few, this tragedy occurred.

MORRIS: And those 800 law enforcement officers moved people out in a pretty orderly way, but there was a little bit of panic. People hurried away, leaving strollers, chairs and backpacks littered on the ground with the confetti. Police, as you say, apprehended three suspects, including one that fans helped to apprehend.

SUMMERS: And Frank, at this point, do we know anything about the victims in the shooting?

MORRIS: Well, we have - we had - the numbers keep going up and - the number of victims, at least 22 gunshot victims. One person has died. Eight people were transported to hospitals with immediate life-threatening injuries. And that's about the sum of what we know right now.

SUMMERS: I mean, I'm hoping, Frank, that you can just paint a picture for us. You were there. The day certainly did not start out with people thinking this would happen. Can you just tell us what it was like before the shots rang out there?

MORRIS: It was so joyous, you know? And the thing that strikes you about these parades in Kansas City, at least, you know, it's people from all over the region - Texas to Iowa and beyond - and from every walk of life. You know, every kind of social and political division was just erased. And Taja Kocourek was watching the parade with a huge smile on her face and struck by all the love surrounding the Kansas City Chiefs.

TAJA KOCOUREK: Oh, it's excitement. Everything's electric. Here to celebrate with the whole city - a lot of happy, excited people.

MORRIS: And of course, that all just ended in a moment when those shots rang out.

SUMMERS: Frank, in just a couple of sentences - I know we heard earlier from Mayor Quinton Lucas; he talked about gun violence - anything else that stuck out to you from that press conference?

MORRIS: No. You know, I mean, there is a problem with gun violence in Kansas City. It's an ongoing problem. But this is the first one of these really big mass shootings that the city has suffered through.

SUMMERS: Frank Morris with member station KCUR in Kansas City. Frank, thanks for your reporting.

MORRIS: Thank you, Juana. 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.

Frank Morris has supervised the reporters in KCUR's newsroom since 1999. In addition to his managerial duties, Morris files regularly with National Public Radio. He’s covered everything from tornadoes to tax law for the network, in stories spanning eight states. His work has won dozens of awards, including four national Public Radio News Directors awards (PRNDIs) and several regional Edward R. Murrow awards. In 2012 he was honored to be named "Journalist of the Year" by the Heart of America Press Club.
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