1 killed, dozens injured in shooting at Super Bowl celebration rally

A shooting at the Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl victory rally left one person dead and up to 30 injured on Wednesday, as one million people gathered to celebrate in Kansas City, Missouri. Two “juveniles” are currently being held in custody but have not been charged as of this writing. A third suspect was released on Thursday after police determined that they were not involved in the shooting. 

A person is taken to an ambulance following a shooting at the Kansas City Chiefs NFL football Super Bowl celebration in Kansas City, Missouri, on Wednesday, February 14, 2024. [AP Photo/Charlie Riedel]

While the motive for the shooting has not been determined, police have stated that it was not an act of terrorism or extremism, instead stemming from a “dispute between several people that ended in gunfire.” In an interview with CBS, shooting victim Jacob Gooch Sr. said that he overheard an altercation between two people just before the shooting. He reportedly heard a woman tell one of the shooters, “don’t do it, not here; this is stupid.” He added, “My daughter said that some lady was like holding him back, and people had started backing up, and then he pulled it out and just started shooting and spinning in a circle.” Gooch was shot in the ankle, while his wife was shot in the calf and his son was also injured. 

A total of 30 people were injured with roughly half of them children. The University Health Truman Medical Center reported that eight of the 12 patients admitted were released as of Thursday afternoon, while Children’s Mercy Kansas City said that of the 12 victims admitted, 11 were children, nine of whom had gunshot wounds. Nine of the 12 patients were discharged as of Thursday, according to hospital officials. The three remaining patients were children, who were all expected to fully recover. 

The one person killed during the shooting was identified as 44-year-old Lisa Lopez-Galvan, a DJ at local radio station KKFI and a mother of two. The radio station issued a statement on Wednesday on her death saying, “This senseless act has taken a beautiful person from her family and this KC Community.”

The investigation of the shooting is ongoing. Kansas City police said they have recovered a number of firearms, and investigators will be analyzing bullets and shell casings to determine which guns were used in the shooting and if they were used in any other shootings in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) administration weapons database. 

The latest mass shooting in the US has received its fair share of “thoughts and prayers” from various political figures. The White House issued a statement from Biden stating, “We have to decide who we are as a country. For me, we’re a country where people should have the right to go to school, to go to church, to walk the street—and to attend a Super Bowl celebration—without fear of losing your life to gun violence. Jill and I pray for those killed and injured today in Kansas City and for our country to find the resolve to end this senseless epidemic of gun violence tearing us at the seams.”

Such words from “Genocide Joe” ring hollow. Not only is he directly supporting the genocide of the Palestinian people in Gaza, but his appeals to personal choice in the epidemic of gun violence in the United States ignores the worsening social crisis that he has overseen in his decades in federal office. 

There were 182 homicides in Kansas City in 2023, one of the highest rates among American cities with 36 murders per 100,000 people against a national average of 6.3 murders per 100,000 people. In 2021 it was the city with the fifth highest murder rate in the country. 

This is part of a rising wave of gun violence across the US. According to the CDC, 2021 had more gun-related deaths than any other year on record, totaling 48,830 deaths. More than half of these (54 percent) were from suicide. Roughly 80 percent of murders involved a firearm, the highest percentage since 1968. Deaths from firearms have rapidly climbed in recent years, especially during the pandemic, with murders from guns increasing 45 percent between 2019 and 2021 alone. Included in this is a stark increase in the number of gun deaths among children and teenagers, which rose 50 percent from 1,732 in 2019 to 2,590 in 2021. 

Murder and suicide rates are now rapidly approaching their peaks from the 1970s, while the number of mass shootings in the US continues to grow. According to the Gun Violence Archive, there were 656 mass shootings in 2023, compared to 272 in 2014, in which at least four people were injured or killed. Mass murders, which involve four or more people being shot and killed, have risen from 17 in 2014 to 40 in 2023. Already in 2024, nearly 2,000 people have been killed in gun-related incidents. 

The epidemic of violence in the United States is tied to the rise in social inequality and poverty. In Kansas City, 15 percent of people are living below the federal poverty line, higher than the national average of 12.6 percent. But perhaps more influential is the brutal violence of American capitalism. US imperialism has waged war nearly without interruption for more than 30 years, while police have murdered more than 1,000 people each year. 

That a personal dispute could turn into a mass shooting event at a major celebration is a testament to the callousness of capitalist society. Human lives are reduced to objects to be used and discarded as seen fit by the ruling class. This pathological ruling class mindset, which has culminated in the policy of mass death during the pandemic and the genocide in Gaza, is producing the social disease of endemic violence. 

The shooting in Kansas City and the broader crisis of violence in the United States is ultimately the responsibility of capitalist barbarism, which, in its ceaseless pursuit of profits and power, has created the conditions for such a tragedy to occur.