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The Chiefs parade shooting through the eyes of a nurse, TV journalists and politicians

KSHB-TV anchors Caitlin Knute, left, and Kevin Holmes were hosting a live telecast less than 50 yards from the main stage in front of Union Station when shooting broke out Wednesday afternoon.
KSHB-TV anchors Caitlin Knute, left, and Kevin Holmes were hosting a live telecast less than 50 yards from the main stage in front of Union Station when shooting broke out Wednesday afternoon.

Tens of thousands of people were caught up in the melee after the Chiefs Super Bowl victory parade on Wednesday. KCUR’s Up To Date spoke with just a handful of them to learn about the terrifying experience, and find out what they took away from it.

Chasitty Logsdon just wanted to let her sons experience something that might match her childhood love for the Kansas City Chiefs. Instead, as the Chiefs’ Super Bowl victory rally came to a close Wednesday afternoon, Logsdon’s family joined the ranks of countless Americans traumatized by gun violence.

“I mean so many things were going on in my head at the time,” she told KCUR’s Up To Date on Wednesday evening, hours after a shooting derailed celebrations in front of Union Station.

Logsdon, a nurse who drove to the area from near Louisville, Kentucky, attended the parade with her 3- and 5-year-old sons, two nieces, 10 and 14, and her 71-year-old mother. They were just a few feet away from where the shots rang out.

At first, she thought the loud pops were just fireworks, but shouting from the crowd around her made it clear what had just happened.

“Get my babies out of this area,” she thought at the time.

In the rush to escape, her nurse’s instinct kicked in.

“I mean, I see somebody’s someone laying on the ground,” she said, “I can’t just stand by and, like, not help.”

Logsdon, originally from Salina, Kansas, said she rushed to the aid of a man who was shot in the head. She immediately started doing chest compressions, but felt no pulse from the victim.

After paramedics took over the man’s care, Logsdon was left to comfort her boys.

At dinner Wednesday night, Logsdon’s 5-year-old son, like so many others in Chiefs Kingdom, sought to make sense of the ordeal.

“And I said, ‘You know, honey, sometimes people just do bad things,’” she said. “I don’t have an answer for that, why they did it.”

Logsdon still doesn’t know what ended up happening to the man she rushed to help. Given the extent of his injuries, she assumed he would die. And Kansas City police have confirmed the death of only one person so far, a local radio DJ and mother of two named Lisa Lopez-Galvan. At least 22 others were injured in the melee.

“And I’m still shook,” Logsdon said. “I can’t name how many times I cried coming home.”

Parsing fact from fiction

For journalists like Kevin Holmes and Kris Ketz, covering an active shooter situation is emotionally fraught and professionally complicated.

“(The) last thing we want to do is be wrong, and give you that extra bit of information that’ll cause even more of a panic or more of a flurry,” said Holmes, a KSHB-TV anchor who was helping lead his station’s coverage of the parade and rally from a mobile news desk about 50 yards from the main stage.

“It's our job, even if on the inside we aren't all the way calm, to try and be that voice of calm, and deliver it to you so that you have what you need to know,” Holmes said.

Like many people at the time, Holmes struggled to piece together what was happening in the moment.

At first, he said, after “some people had jumped the fence, we thought maybe they were just having a little too much fun jumping the fence. But the way they were moving just said something — that something was wrong and there was some sort of panic.”

“It wasn't until we saw a second round, a second flurry, of people rushing out of Union Station … and we saw a lot of activity, of officers with long guns drawn rushing in and yelling, that we knew something was wrong and that we were in possible imminent danger.”

Holmes and co-anchor Caitlin Knute took cover in front of their news desk while the situation developed.

Police clear the area following a shooting at the Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl celebration in Kansas City, Mo., Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024.
Reed Hoffmann
Police clear the area in front of Union Station after a shooting at the Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl celebration on Wednesday.

Kris Ketz, meanwhile, watched things unfold from the anchor’s desk at KMBC-TV’s offices in southeast Kansas City. Though his station had journalists on the scene, Ketz said it was their private security detail who first identified the pops as gunfire.

Ketz, too, was as diligent as possible about the information he passed on to his audience.

“I had people texting me as I was on the air with information that ultimately turned out to be spot on,” he said, “(but) there's a big difference between what you know and what you're told, and what you feel comfortable reporting.”

“It has to go through a vetting process and a verification process, and we all do that,” Ketz said.

Despite historically high levels of gun violence in Kansas City, and years of experience covering tragic events for television broadcasts, both journalists were jarred by what happened.

“You don't expect it to happen in such a celebratory moment. You don't expect to happen at the epicenter of all things good in Kansas City,” Holmes said.

“It literally started off as the day I will never forget: back-to-back championships for the first time in 20 years and celebrating a team that is worthy of such,” he said. “And it ended (as) the day I'll never forget because, instead of delivering the news, I became part of it by having to take cover … as police try to find a gunman.”

Ketz said the experience has changed the way he thinks about the place he’s called home for more than 40 years.

“Whether it was the 2015 World Series parade involving the Royals or the three Super Bowl Championship parades and rallies in the Mahomes-Kelce-Andy Reid era, I always took a high level of pride in the fact that the worst it got around here was a drunk falling out of a tree, or somebody riding a horse,” Ketz said. “Well, we can't say that anymore.”

Plans for change, but no hope

Missouri state Rep. Ashley Aune, a Democrat from Kansas City, was one of many elected officials at Union Station for what began as a day of civic joy and pride.

When the shooting started, Aune and fellow state Rep. Emily Weber were in a restroom off the building’s main corridor. While the location afforded them some separation from the mass of people rushing to exit, it didn’t provide a safe route to get away.

“I was terrified obviously,” Aune said. “There was no exit for us out of that hall except for the main one in, and so at one point there was folks around me pleading for law enforcement to address the locked doors so that we had an escape plan.”

In the confusion, Aune relied on the guidance of her husband, a military veteran who was waiting for her just outside the restroom.

“I trusted him when he told me to come out of the bathroom,” she said. Still, “I came out to chaos. Chaos. People had flooded into the building and people were running around.”

Emergency personnel, left, take a stretcher into Union Station following a shooting at the Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl celebration in Kansas City on Wednesday.
Reed Hoffmann
Emergency personnel, left, take a stretcher into Union Station following a shooting at the Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl celebration in Kansas City on Wednesday.

Jackson County Legislator Manny Abarca was at Union Station, too, with his daughter, when their day “went from confetti-catching to fleeing for our lives,” he said.

As the pair made their way back to the buses that were to take them back to Arrowhead Stadium, Abarca heard screaming.

“I saw people falling, I saw people getting trampled,” he remembered. “At that moment I realized my little 35-pound daughter had no chance without me picking her up.”

Through the tumult, Abarca fled into the restaurant Pierpont’s at Union Station, where he knew there was a staircase to the building’s lower levels and a bathroom where he thought he could hide in place.

“I saw Mrs. Hunt there pleading for her daughter to come with her, I saw coach Andy Reid (and) players rushing into the restaurant,” he said. “By the time I got to the landing going down to the basement of Pierpont’s, I realized, ‘I'm in an active shooter situation. This could mean life or death.’”

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson and other Republican lawmakers were in the area at the time, too, but Aune said she isn’t hopeful their experience will change that party’s approach to guns.

“Republicans have had a supermajority in our state, they have been running everything for 20 years. That is why we are where we're at today with our very lax gun laws,” she said. “I am devastated that we all went through it, but I genuinely, genuinely hope that my colleagues on the other side of the aisle took what happened yesterday seriously and reevaluate how they approach common sense gun legislation in our state.”

Aune said her Democratic colleagues in the Missouri General Assembly have had a plan long before the shooting took place that could help curtail easy access to firearms. It’s the kind of plan her constituents in Platte County support, she said.

“People in my community are desperate for change on this front,” she said. “I don't want my own guns taken away any more than I want yours (taken away), but I do want to live in a community where we take the responsibility of owning firearms seriously.”

Abarca, who represents Jackson County’s 1st District, said he plans to push hard for gun reform at the county level, whether state lawmakers work to overturn it or not.

“I want to send a clear message to Jefferson City that, in this county, this legislator is going to act, and if that means we’re preempted, then be prepared for a lawsuit,” he said.

“I left the building … and I was talking to Republicans, Democrats, state reps, council members who all agreed,” Abarca said.

Stay Connected
When I host Up To Date each morning at 9, my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. Reach me at steve@kcur.org or on Twitter @stevekraske.
As Up To Date’s senior producer, I construct daily conversations that give our listeners context to the issues of our time. I strive to provide a platform that holds those in power accountable, while also spotlighting the voices of Kansas City’s creatives and visionaries that may otherwise go unheard. Email me at zach@kcur.org.
As a producer for Up To Date, my goal is to inform our audience by curating interesting and important conversations with reliable sources and individuals directly affected by a topic or issue. I strive for our program to be a place that hosts impactful conversations, providing our audience with greater knowledge, intrigue, compassion and entertainment. Contact me at elizabeth@kcur.org or on Twitter at @er_bentley_ruiz.
Claudia Brancart is an Up To Date producer for KCUR 89.3. She graduated from Pitzer College in Los Angeles where she majored in World Literature and Studio Art. You can reach her at claudiab@kcur.org.
As an Up To Date producer, I aim to create a space for Kansas Citians to come together for curious and inspired conversations about the region we call home. I want to help find answers to big questions, shine a light on local change makers and break down complex issues people need to know about. Email me at hallejackson@kcur.org.
As culture editor, I oversee KCUR’s coverage of race, culture, the arts, food and sports. I work with reporters to make sure our stories reflect the fullest view of the place we call home, so listeners and readers feel primed to explore the places, projects and people who make up a vibrant Kansas City. Email me at luke@kcur.org.
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