Two men charged with murder in shooting near Kansas City’s Super Bowl rally

Two men charged with murder in shooting near Kansas City’s Super Bowl rally
Two men charged with murder in shooting near Kansas City’s Super Bowl rally

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - Police clear the area after shots were fired after the celebration of the Kansas City Chiefs winning Super Bowl LVIII in Kansas City February 14, 2024. — Picture by David Rainey-USA TODAY Sports

KANSAS CITY, Feb 21 — Two men have been charged with murder in connection with a gunfight in Kansas City, Missouri, that killed one person and left more than 20 others wounded, including the suspects, at the fringe of last week’s Super Bowl victory rally, prosecutors said yesterday.

Their arrests — one charged yesterday, the other on February 17 — brought to four the number of suspects facing prosecution in the Valentine’s Day shooting, following two teenagers taken into custody and charged last week as juveniles with firearms offenses and resisting arrest.

Prosecutors have said they would seek to also charge the two minors as adults, and that the investigation was continuing. Court documents filed with the charges said the gunfire stemmed from a confrontation between individuals over eye contact they interpreted as a hostile gesture.

The two latest suspects, identified as Dominic Miller of Kansas City and Lyndell Mays of suburban Raytown, each faces charges of second-degree murder, two counts of armed criminal action and one count of unlawful use of a weapon, according to a statement from the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office.

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“According to court records, the defendants attended a Super Bowl parade and rally on February 14, 2024, and were armed with firearms,” the statement said. It added: “A verbal altercation occurred and gunfire broke out with no regard for thousands of other individuals in the area.”

At a brief news conference announcing the charges, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said the investigation showed the violence began when Mays became involved in an argument with another person, who was a stranger to him.

Baker told reporters their quarrel “very quickly escalated,” with Mays pulling out a pistol, followed by others in the vicinity “almost immediately” drawing their weapons.

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While both Mays and Miller are charged with murder, Baker said the evidence shows it was a bullet fired from Miller’s weapon that struck and killed Elizabeth Lopez-Galvan, 43, an on-air radio personality.

Police have previously said she was one of 23 people struck by gunfire, including at least nine children, but court documents filed against Mays put the total number of known gunshot victims at 25, including Lopez-Galvan.

Conviction for second-degree murder in Missouri is punishable by a prison sentence of 10 to 30 years or life.

Began over eye contact

The shooting unfolded following a parade and rally near the city’s landmark Union Station, where police said upward of a million fans had gathered as the Kansas City Chiefs were celebrating their Super Bowl triumph over the San Francisco 49ers.

The broadcast of the NFL championship game on February 11 drew a record television audience, in part due to the heightened media attention surrounding the romance between the Chiefs’ Travis Kelce and pop superstar Taylor Swift. She attended the Super Bowl but was not present for the rally.

Probable-cause statements filed by prosecutors in conjunction with the criminal complaints lodged against Mays and Miller said that both men were themselves hospitalised by gunshot wounds they sustained during the violence.

According to those documents, their actions in the crowd were captured on surveillance video. Miller was tackled by a bystander as he ran through the crowd with a gun shouting, “I’m shot, I’m shot.”

Prosecutors said both men confessed to their roles in the shooting during hospital interviews with police detectives.

An account of the bloodshed pieced together from witnesses and video footage found that the violence started when Mays and a group of individuals who confronted him “began arguing about why they were staring at each other.”

According to the charging documents filed against Mays two days ago, he acknowledged he was the first to draw a weapon and the first to open fire, and that he singled out one individual to shoot at random as the person was running away.

The probable cause statement said Mays told investigators he realized there were youngsters in the crowd but believed any one of them could be armed. It quoted him as recounting to detectives that he “just pulled a gun out and started shooting. I shouldn’t have done that. Just being stupid.” — Reuters

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