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Champaign Central Chronicle

Champaign Central Chronicle

Kansas City Chiefs Strong


On February 11th, 2024 the Kansas City Chiefs won their fourth Super Bowl in Las Vegas. To celebrate their victory the team and their fans held a parade just near the Union Station in Missouri.

The celebration went on with the Chief’s players and coaches making appearances for their fans. The beginning of the parade acted as every other Super Bowl Parade had, a simple celebration for the biggest win of the year.

However, shortly before the parade ended, it became a crime scene. Two shooters opened fire which resulted in the death of Lisa Lopez Gavlan and injured 22 others, 11 of which being children and 1 being one of the shooters.

The shooting began when Dominic Miller and Lyndell Mays got into a verbal altercation resulting in Mays firing his gun; there were two other unidentified juveniles charged for being involved. After Mays fired his weapon Miller and the 2 juveniles did as well. It was said that Miller’s gun was the one that killed Lisa Lopez Gavlan. It has also been reported that Miller and Mays had no connection to the other before the argument.

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The shooting happened on the 6 year anniversary of the Parkland Shooting that occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida. February 14th, 2018 19 year old Nikolas Cruz opened fire at the school, killing 17 people and injuring 17 more. Victims of this shooting were quickly reliving the event when news of the parade shooting broke. Tabatha Wenzel expressed “People are just so ignorant, just another day in America,” meaning a day that was supposed to be for celebration and happiness was quickly turned into a travesty due to people not thinking about the people around them, and ignorance of their surroundings.

The state of Missouri does not have very strict gun laws as of 2024. There is no age restriction for getting access to guns despite federal law not allowing minors to carry. Questions of how Missouri will react to the event have sparked and many wonder if there will be any change made to their current laws. “There needs to be age restrictions, mental health background check, regular citizens should not be able to get semi automatic weapons.” Wenzel suggests. Missouri’s Republican State Attorney, General Kri Kobach, expressed that “good citizens need to be armed, there aren’t enough law enforcement to keep everyone safe.” Many people disagree. “Part of why this happened is the idea that an armed society is a safer society, when in the end it’s not” Kate Flugge expressed.

Miller and Mays are both being charged with second-degree murder, unlawful use of a weapon and armed criminal action. It is being said that Mays drew his weapon first, causing Miller and others to draw theirs. Both men are currently hospitalized so they have not been booked yet, they are both being held with a $1 million bond. With these charges, Miller and Mays could face life in prison. Lyndell Mays probation ended just a few weeks before the incident occurred.

It has not been said exactly how many people were involved in the shooting but as of now we know four people have been arrested for some sort of involvement. Miller and Mays and 2 unidentified minors. The minors have been charged with gun related and resisting arrest charges. There is a possibility they will be charged as adults. Many believe there will be more arrests made as the investigation goes on.
Mays told authorities he felt threatened by Miller so he pulled his firearm out as self defense.

The state of Missouri has “stand our ground” laws, where it is permitted to use a firearm in a deathly manner in cases of self defense. This law could possibly help the two defendants’ cases.
The two shooters have not had bond hearings since they are both in the hospital. Mays was supposed to be in court on February 29th, 2024 but was unable to go because he was readmitted to the hospital. During the shooting Mays was shot 9 times, it was unsaid why he was readmitted. Previously, Mays mugshot showed him in a hospital gown with a bandage on his cheek. Dominic Miller, the second shooter has been in the hospital since the incident.

This event further shows the problem that is in America. There were thousands of people and highly trained officers surrounding the setting. That didn’t stop there from gunfire being exchanged. “There were 800 police officers at that parade and it still happened.” Flugge said.
The shooting has citizens of Missouri demanding stricter gun laws. Only two months into 2024 and there have already been 49 mass shootings in America. As of February 15th there have been more than 5,000 gun related deaths and 3,000 injuries. A big factor people are fighting for is the easy access people with mental illness and criminals have to guns. The majority of gun deaths this year have been death by suicide, which makes people want more attention brought to mental health issues and the easy access people have to guns. “Maybe enough people will be fed up with it in the upcoming election to vote certain people out.” Flugge shared.

Chiefs head coach Andy Reid made a statement at a conference on the shooting. Reid stated that the shooting is not an accurate display of how Kansas City is as a whole and that he is hopeful Americans can find ways to avoid future violence. “With just a little togetherness and love, we can fix a lot of problems,” Reid said.

A big question that has formed after the shooting is how will it affect the NFL and the Chiefs. “It was supposed to be this fun celebration but now it’s connected to this terrible and tragic event,” said Flugge, before adding “I can’t imagine they don’t think about it.”

After shots were fired, two men were brave enough to tackle Mays and Miller in order to protect those around them. Trey Filter and Paul Conteras were at the parade celebrating with all the other Chiefs fans when they heard the shots. Filter said he “thought they were firecrackers” then saw people running. Conteras stated that as he tackled the shooter he saw the weapon fall to the ground. The two men are being honored by Jackson County Legislatures for their heroic actions.

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