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Kansas City radio DJ Lisa Lopez-Galvan, mother of two, killed in the shooting following Chiefs’ Super Bowl celebration rally

By Alaa Elassar, CNN

(CNN) — Elizabeth “Lisa” Lopez-Galvan was a natural at making people laugh. She was known as the office jokester, a DJ full of life and contagious joy and a passionate music lover who brought Kansas City a burst of culture through Tejano songs.

She was also an avid Kansas City Chiefs fan who was celebrating her team’s historic repeat championship win with nearly 1 million people, including her husband, son and daughter, in downtown Kansas City, Missouri, when she was fatally shot.

Lopez-Galvan, a mother of two and beloved Kansas City-area DJ and radio show host, has been identified as a victim who died during Wednesday’s shooting following the Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl celebration rally.

“We are heartbroken with the loss of our loved one, Elizabeth ‘Lisa’ Lopez-Galvan, who was an amazing mother, wife, daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, and friend to so many,” the Lopez-Galvan family said in a statement Thursday. Three other family members, including Lopez-Galvan’s son, were injured, the family told CNN.

“Lisa leaves behind her husband of 22 years, Mike, and two children, Marc, and Adriana. We ask to please keep our family in your prayers as we grieve the loss of Lisa’s death while also supporting our other loved ones who were impacted in this senseless act.”

Police have not provided details around her death, but said one person, a 43-year-old woman, died in the shooting. At least 22 people, half who were children, were injured after the parade celebrating the Kansas City Chiefs’ 25-22 overtime victory in Sunday’s Super Bowl.

Lopez-Galvan is remembered by her family as “a very loving, caring, and devoted mother,” and a leader in her community, her brother, Beto Lopez, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Thursday.

“We have tragic situations like this one that occur unfortunately way too often and a lot of time individuals get lost as just statistics or numbers,” Lopez said. “She did a lot for this community and the Kansas City area, raising money for a lot of charitable events and organizations, and it’s something we’ll be very proud of forever.”

She carried her culture on the radio

Every Tuesday night, Lopez-Galvan co-hosted the “A Taste of Tejano” show on KKFI radio 90.1 FM, a noncommercial, community radio station. She played “the best Tejano music north of Texas,” a tradition that “started 28 years ago in Kansas City,” according to the show’s website. Tejano music has its roots in South and Central Texas and blends music styles from Northern Mexico, along with German and Czech polka and waltzes, and incorporates instruments like the accordion.

“It is with sincere sadness and an extremely heavy and broken heart that we let our community know that KKFI DJ Lisa Lopez, host of Taste of Tejano lost her life,” KKFI said in a statement shared on Facebook. “This senseless act has taken a beautiful person from her family and this KC Community.”

Lopez-Galvan came from three generations of decorated musicians in the family, according to her brother, and carried on her family’s legacy. She worked as a bilingual private DJ for more than 15 years before becoming a co-host of “A Taste of Tejano” in March 2022, according to her KKFI biography. “Music is Iife and a source of happiness,” she wrote in her bio.

“Lisa was absolutely an amazing woman, great mother, great sister, great friend. She just loved having fun and helping others. The things that she did in this community are going to be felt and people are going to be hurting for a while with her loss,” Lopez said.

Lopez-Galvan regularly used her social media to fundraise for community events and organizations, including raising money to purchase toys for children with cancer, college scholarships for Latino students, and many other initiatives for her community.

“Lisa leaves behind an incredible legacy,” Manny Abarca, Lopez-Galvan’s friend who was present during the shooting, told CNN. “She comes from a very large family of civic leaders actively and regularly engaged in both the Latino community of Kansas City and the broad civic community.”

“She is a treasure at carrying the culture through her DJ on a local public radio station. She was the light at every party,” he added. “She was oftentimes the voluntary DJ when everyone needed one for a community event. She is the person that we need here in this place to make it that much better.”

Abarca, a Missouri legislator, said he was at the parade with his young daughter celebrating when “through the partitions, a wave of people come rushing through, screaming ‘gun’, ‘run.’” He immediately picked up his daughter and they hid in a restaurant bathroom with other attendees until the lockdown was lifted.

Abarca says he’s vowed to make sure Lopez-Galvan, and other victims of gun violence in the US, are never forgotten.

“I have known Lisa and her family for over a decade. I have witnessed that smile across DJ equipment, and on the stage of our largest Fiesta in #KansasCity,” Abarca said in a post on X, formerly Twitter. “I will not let her death go in vein (sic).”

Lopez-Galvan’s show, which she coproduced with fellow DJ Tommy Andrade, “brought a voice to the KC community that is missed in the mainstream media,” Kelly Dougherty, KKFI director of development and communications, told CNN. “Like all our programmers, she was a volunteer who donated her time and talent to KKFI.”

Videos posted on the show’s Facebook page in memory of Lopez-Galvan often show her laughing, joking and pranking her colleagues.

“In honesty, it’s hard to find words that make sense. She just went to be with the community and celebrate the victory of our beloved Chiefs. It was supposed to be a time of joy,” Dougherty said. “We are absolutely devastated at the loss of such an amazing person who gave so much to KKFI and the KC community.”

Lopez-Galvan’s son has been released from the hospital and is in recovery, according to her brother.

“Our family is still pretty much in a state of shock, we are a pretty close knit family so that is helping us get through this period,” Lopez said. “Aside from a broken heart and a hurtful heart with the loss of his mother, my sister, he’s coming along okay.”

A GoFundMe has been launched to help the family with financial support as they process the tragedy.

CNN’s Amanda Jackson contributed to this report.

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