Law enforcement runs towards danger while most people run away. On Wednesday, that’s what many officers did as gunfire erupted during what was supposed to be Missouri’s day to celebrate Kansas City’s back-to-back Super Bowl victory.

Roughly 850 law enforcement officers and countless medical responders were at the celebration to answer the call for help. So were some good Samaritans.

Mayor Quinton Lucas recalled the emergency preparation.

“I think about visiting with the KCPD Command Center, seeing our officers along the route and thinking, ‘Man, we are exceedingly well prepared,’” said Lucas.

Then, an argument turned sour in the crowd of Kansas City Chiefs fans. That clash escalated to gunfire – and fans were caught in the crossfire.

All that emergency preparation became a reality as many of the hundreds of thousands of fans ran for their lives while a barrage of bullets was fired. A 43-year-old woman was killed and 22 others were injured.

Officers jumped into action to rush people to a safe spot while others captured the suspects. Good Samaritans came to the rescue and tackled suspects until officers could get there to help.

Medical workers quickly assessed victims, stabilized the injured, and loaded the people into an ambulance for further care.

Kansas City hospitals have trained for situations like Wednesday’s. Dustin Neele, medical director of the trauma program at University Health, said there were some patients caught in the mass exodus.

“We’ve had a few people who injured various extremities and have some broken bones that were due to trying to get away that weren’t actually injured from gunshot violence,” he said.

The 22 surviving victims are between the ages of eight and 47 years old. At least half of the victims are under the age of 16.

Of University Health’s eight victims, three remain in the hospital.

“I’m not surprised that our care went the way it did because of the way that we train for it,” he said. “We’ve been a trauma center for a very, very long time. A lot of people know that if they’re hurt, that they need to come to see us because again, we’re an efficient trauma center to get you to the operating room if that’s where you need to go. Once they get here, they have a chance to survive. So, I’m not surprised that with our team, they were able to save all of the patients.”

Two remain in critical condition and are both in the ICU, however, they are improving. Doctors with University Health commended the Kansas City Fire Department for triaging the victims in a way that ensured the patient with the most severe injury arrived at the hospital first. The first patient to arrive was able to be rushed to surgery, and both critical patients are said to be alive today because of the work of the emergency responders.

Charlie Shields, president and CEO of University Health in Kansas City, said the mass shooting has been traumatic for the city and for his workers.

“You go into this business because you care about people, and our staff, while they did all this great work, they’re hurting, too. This is tough on staff,” he said. “We’ve actually seen a tremendous outpouring from the community. It means a lot to our team.”

Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City said three of 12 victims it is caring for are still in the hospital.

“It’s something that unfortunately we all have to prepare for,” said Stephanie Meyer, Chief Nursing Officer at Children’s Mercy Hospital. “The staff did an amazing job. We will have to do some wellness initiatives and recovery with our staff. This is nothing that you ever want to have happen and you especially don’t want it to happen in a situation where it is a mass casualty type of situation. I want to also thank all of the teams that were on site. Children’s Mercy had specific staff down at the event so that we could proactively prepare for an event such as this.”

Kansas City Police Chief Stacey Graves said the shooting had no ties to homegrown violent extremism or terrorism.

“I’m angered by what occurred in our city yesterday, but I’m also thankful for the response. Members of the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department, the Kansas City Fire Department, city officials, federal partners, and many others have worked around the clock investigating this incident.”

At least two teenage suspects are in custody. A third has been released. Several guns were reportedly recovered.

Copyright 2024, Missourinet.