(IN PHOTOS) One dead and more than twenty injured by gunfire during the Super Bowl parade in Kansas City

The parade to celebrate the coronation of the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LVIII ended with gunfire on Wednesday, leaving at least one dead and 29 injured.

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Shots were fired around Union Station in downtown Kansas City as about a million people gathered nearby.

According to local authorities, one person died and 19 others were hit by projectiles. Eight of the injured are said to be in critical condition and another seven in serious condition.




AFP Photo

Ten other people were also reported to have been injured during the events, bringing the death toll to at least 29 injured.

The authorities arrested three suspects, while no information is yet known about the motives that would have pushed the shooters to act.




AFP Photo

Among those detained is a man wearing a red tracksuit, according to AFP journalists.




Getty Images via AFP

A video widely shared on social media suggests that Chiefs supporters may have subdued one of the alleged perpetrators of the shooting.

Police are still trying to determine if one of the three suspects in custody is the individual allegedly intercepted by fans in this video.

“Anyone in the vicinity should leave the area quickly to facilitate the rescue of gunshot victims. Please avoid the Union Station parking lot to allow first responders to pass,” police also wrote in X.

The incident brought the festivities to an abrupt end, as the vast majority of people present near the stage and station began running in all directions.




AFP

“I thought it was fireworks,” John O’Connor told the Kansas City Star, explaining that he heard “between 15 and 20 gunshots in a short period of time.”

Reactions

The Kansas City Chiefs organization responded to the event in a statement, saying they were “saddened by the senseless acts of violence that occurred outside Union Station following today’s parade.”

“Our hearts go out to the victims, their families and the city of Kansas City,” he added. We confirm that all our players, coaches, employees and their families are safe.

The team’s star quarterback Patrick Mahomes said “pray for Kansas City” in a post on X.

Kansas City’s mayor and police chief also spoke about the events during two news conferences.

“I’m angry about what happened today,” said Kansas City Police Chief Stacey Graves. “People who came to celebrate today should expect a safe environment.”

“There were over 800 Kansas City police officers and other agencies that were on scene to make sure everyone was safe,” he continued. “This reprehensible act was committed because of someone with bad intentions.”

“People who came to celebrate today should expect a safe environment” – Kansas City Police Chief and Mayor Press Conference

For his part, Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas regrets that he “always runs the risk” of shootings during public events in the United States.

“Parades, demonstrations, schools, cinemas, nothing seems safe,” Lucas laments.

He also said authorities have been in contact with the White House, which has offered federal assistance.

Proliferation

The United States is paying a high price for the proliferation of firearms on its territory and the ease with which Americans have access to them.

The country has more individual guns than inhabitants: one adult in three owns at least one gun and almost one adult in two lives in a house where there is a gun.

The consequence of this proliferation is the very high rate of deaths from firearms in the United States, incomparable with that of other developed countries.

About 49,000 people died from gunshots in 2021, up from 45,000 in 2020, which was already a record year. This represents more than 130 deaths per day, more than half of which are suicides.

However, it is the mass shootings that stand out the most, illustrating the ideological divide that separates conservatives and progressives on the question of how to prevent such tragedies.

The recent history of the United States is marked by murders, with no place in daily life seeming safe, from the business to the church, from the supermarket to the nightclub, from the public street to public transportation.




AFP Photo

Among all these massacres, some perpetrated in schools especially shocked public opinion, such as the one perpetrated in 2012 by a psychopath in an elementary school in Connecticut, during which 20 children aged 6 and 7 were murdered.




AFP

The United States Congress has not adopted ambitious legislation and many elected officials are under the influence of the powerful National Rifle Association (NRA), the main American arms lobby.




Getty Images via AFP

In fact, in a country where millions of Americans consider owning a firearm a fundamental constitutional right, the only recent legislative advances remain marginal, such as the generalization of criminal and psychiatric background checks, especially in the purchase of weapons.

-With the collaboration of Agence France-Presse

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