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2 teenagers charged in Kansas City Super Bowl rally shooting. The city is now grappling with the tragedy


By Nouran Salahieh, CNN

(CNN) — Two teenagers in custody in connection with the deadly shooting during the Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl rally that left one woman dead and more than 20 others injured were charged Thursday, according to Missouri court officials.

The Office of the Juvenile Officer said the teens face gun-related and resisting arrest charges and are currently detained in secure detention at the Juvenile Detention Center.

“It is anticipated that additional charges are expected in the future as the investigation by the Kansas City Police Department continues,” the Office of the Juvenile Officer said in a statement.

While police continued their investigation, a crowd gathered for a vigil Thursday evening at a plaza adjacent to Children’s Mercy hospital, where several children who were shot were hospitalized. Church leaders said prayers as people held candles that lit up the dark, cold winter evening.

The somber gathering stood in stark contrast to the day before, when an estimated 1 million people gathered steps from Union Station in downtown Kansas City for the parade and rally to mark the Chiefs’ repeat championship win – a celebration that featured smiling NFL athletes high-fiving fans and parading on double-decker buses.

In the aftermath of the shooting, CNN spoke with four hospitals that received 29 patients from the melee. Hospital officials said 19 of those people were treated for gunshot wounds.

By late Friday morning, only one patient was still hospitalized at Children’s Mercy hospital, spokesperson Marlene Bentley said.

CNN previously reported the children’s hospital received 12 patients following the shooting, including one adult and 11 children between 6 and 15 years old. Nine of the children had suffered gunshot wounds, said Stephanie Meyer, the hospital’s chief nursing officer.

The Chiefs on Friday, in partnership with other groups, said the team launched an emergency response fund and has contributed $200,000 toward helping the shooting victims and their families.

Patrick and Brittany Mahomes visited two victims – sisters ages 8 and 10 – who are recovering after being shot in their legs, the family said in a statement obtained by CNN.

Photos the family shared with CNN show the siblings posing with the couple from their hospital rooms. “While we are relieved by their progress, the emotional healing continues for all of us,” the family said.

Wednesday’s shooting was at least the 48th mass shooting in the United States in 2024, according to the Gun Violence Archive, which like CNN counts those in which four or more are shot, not including a perpetrator. It also marked the second shooting in a year at a major US sports title celebration after two people were wounded in June as Denver fans left a parade for the NBA’s Nuggets.

Killed in the Kansas City shooting was radio DJ Lisa Lopez-Galvan, said KKFI 90.1 FM, where she volunteered.

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.

Police initially said Wednesday they detained three people after the shooting. Kansas City Police spokesperson Alayna Gonzalez later told CNN in an email that one of them “was determined to not be involved.”

Police chief Stacey Graves said Thursday it’s still unclear how many people were involved in the shooting. On Friday, she said, “We will not relent until everyone who may have played a part in these crimes is apprehended so that they may be punished to the fullest extent of the law.”

Now as the investigation continues, bullets and shell casings left behind at the scene are key to determining whether there’s a possible connection to the people in custody as well as any other possible suspects, a law enforcement source told CNN.

Investigators with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives will also look at whether the bullets or shell casings match any of those firearms or any weapons in databases, according to the source.

Children describe being shot

Eighth grader Cash Adams, 13, was at the rally Wednesday with his cousins, hoping to get an autograph from his favorite player, defensive lineman Chris Jones, when gunfire broke out, CNN affiliate KMBC reported.

“I heard, ‘pop, pop, pop,’ and then I knew I’d been hit, so I just ran,” Cash told the station.

The boy, who suffered a bullet graze to the leg, tracked down a Kansas City police officer. “I knew I needed to get to safety,” Cash said.

Cash said the officer stayed with him the entire time, even in the medical tent where he saw badly hurt victims come in. “There was a lot of chaos, a lot of screaming,” the boy said.

At least half of the victims from the shooting are under the age of 16, Graves said at Thursday’s news conference.

The number of young victims in the shooting highlights the impact of gun violence on America’s youth. In 2020, firearms became the leading cause of death for children and teens in the US, surpassing car accidents.

On Wednesday, Children were able to come see their football heroes as school districts in the Kansas City metro area had canceled classes for the festivities. Players were still on the stage of the victory rally when the shooting happened.

A 10-year-old who was also wounded in the shooting, Samuel Arellano, told CNN affiliate KSHB he knew to hide because of the active shooter training he got at school.

“They showed me what to do — duck down, hide, don’t run,” he told the station.

The boy said he ran to hide behind a trash can, but was still hit. “One of them hit me while I tried to face toward my grandpa and my uncle and my cousin,” Samuel said.

“It felt like getting stabbed,” he said, describing the wound that his family said narrowly missed his lungs.

“It could’ve been inches from my whole future,” the child said.

NFL stars comforted children as they took cover

After the shooting started, NFL stars who had been celebrating with the fans became sources of comfort for them – particularly the children.

Kansas City Chiefs offensive lineman Trey Smith said he took cover in a closet with others at the event when he heard the gunfire, pulling a child to safety with him.

“There’s like a little kid in front of me, so I just grabbed him — just yanked him — (and) was telling him, ‘You’re hopping in here with me, buddy,’” Smith told ABC.

After authorities cleared them to leave the closet, they walked to the team buses, which quickly filled with the frightened attendees.

Smith, who had been carrying a World Wrestling Entertainment championship belt as a prop through the Super Bowl parade, noticed a small boy who he said was panicked.

Smith said he handed the child the belt, telling him, “‘Hey, buddy, you’re the champion. No one’s gonna hurt you. No one’s gonna hurt you, man. We got your back.’”

Kansas City Chiefs cornerback L’Jarius Sneed also described trying to help children who surrounded him as he took cover in the basement of a building, the player told ESPN’s Hannah Storm on Thursday.

“I tried to comfort them in that situation. Just tell them everything is OK. Just rubbing their back(s) and just be like, ‘Everything’s going to be fine,’” he said.

“It’s very sad,” he told ESPN. “Just for the kids. They are trying to celebrate something, a big accomplishment for us. We were just trying to celebrate it with them, and for that to happen is very tragic.”

CNN’s Ray Sanchez, Dakin Andone, Shimon Prokupecz, Josh Campbell, Chris Boyette, Andi Babineau, Rebekah Riess, Sara Smart, Jamiel Lynch, Jillian Sykes, Kyle Feldscher, Matias Grez, Amanda Jackson, Raja Razek, Sarah Dewberry, Hannah Rabinowitz, Holmes Lybrand and Sara Smart contributed to this report.

™ & © 2024 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

Article Topic Follows: CNN - National

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