Chiefs’ Trey Smith recounts chaos, efforts to calm children during Kansas City shooting


One day after a shooting at the Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl parade killed one person and injured at least 22 others, an outpouring of support and grief has continued from around the nation, including personal accounts from players who were there, highlighting the chaotic nature in which the tragedy unfolded out of Wednesday’s celebration.

Chiefs offensive lineman Trey Smith appeared on “Good Morning America” early Thursday to speak about his experience, recounting a story in which he pulled multiple people to safety as he gathered a group of fans to hide in a closet.

“Right before I ran in there, there was a little kid in front of me so I grabbed him in and just yanked him in and said you’re hopping in here with me buddy,” he said on the show. “So I don’t know how many people there were in the closet, maybe 20-plus. One of my teammates, my long snapper James Winchester, was very instrumental in helping keep people calm.”

Smith later shared a story about giving his replica WWE championship belt to a little kid on the team bus who was scared.

“I’m pretty angry,” Smith said. “Due to senseless violence, someone lost their life today. You have children that are injured, you have children that are traumatized. I’m hurting for the families that are impacted, the city of Kansas City.

“But at the end of the day, Kansas City is a great city. We’re gonna stand up together and we’re gonna be strong.”

The shooting occurred around 2 p.m. CT west of Union Station — a central landmark in downtown Kansas City — at the end of the parade route. Hundreds of fans were in the open plaza area outside of Union Station, where typically busy streets had been blocked off. The shooting occurred less than a half hour after the rally’s conclusion. Kansas City Police Department chief Stacey Graves said Wednesday that authorities did not yet know a motive for the shooting.

As police detained three people involved in the incident, victims were transported to three local hospitals, one of which was Children’s Mercy. Lisa Augustine, a hospital spokeswoman, told The New York Times that Children’s Mercy was treating 12 patients, including 11 children. Later Wednesday, a hospital leader said at a news conference that none of the children had suffered critical injuries and all are expected to recover.

While the news unfolded, players throughout the league and political leaders from the local level to the White House shared their sorrow for the tragedy that unfolded out of Wednesday’s celebration.

“Any chance anyone can help me get in touch with these kids or families? First off I want to make sure they’re doing ok. But would love to help them out any way I can and get them some stuff from the team to help with the recovery,” Chiefs wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling said on social media in response to a report about the children’s injuries.

President Joe Biden issued a statement, noting the Kansas City shooting occurred on the sixth anniversary of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, Fla., which killed 17 people and injured 17 others.

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Kansas City’s day of joy taken away and our hearts break again for the children

“The Super Bowl is the most unifying event in America. Nothing brings more of us together. And the celebration of a Super Bowl win is a moment that brings a joy that can’t be matched to the winning team and their supporters. For this joy to be turned to tragedy today in Kansas City cuts deep in the American soul,” the president said in a statement posted to X (previously Twitter).

The president went on to ask the country to stand with him and make their voices heard, later adding, “we know what we have to do, we just need the courage to do it.”

“Today, on a day that marks six years since the Parkland shooting, we learned that three police officers were shot in the line of duty in Washington, DC and another school shooting took place at Benjamin Mays High School in Atlanta. Yesterday marked one year since the shooting at Michigan State University. We’ve now had more mass shootings in 2024 than there have been days in the year,” Biden said.

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas said Wednesday night he is “heartbroken for our community.”

“While many of us ran for safety, law enforcement and first responders ran toward danger to protect all of us,” the mayor, who was at the parade, said. “I am grateful for their courage and service to the people of Kansas City.”

The X account for Missouri Gov. Mike Parson noted that Parson and his wife were in attendance at the parade.

“Governor & First Lady Parson want to thank the Missouri Highway Patrol, KCPD, and their security officers for their quick and professional actions,” the account posted.

Outside of Smith, other members of the Chiefs organization and team leaders, including Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes, star tight end Travis Kelce and wide receiver Mecole Hardman, who caught the title-winning touchdown Sunday, shared their sadness about the events.

“I am heartbroken over the tragedy that took place today. My heart is with all who came out to celebrate with us and have been affected. KC, you mean the world to me,” Kelce wrote on X.

Players around the league, including those on rival teams such as Patrick Queen from the Baltimore Ravens and Sauce Gardner from the New York Jets, shared their sorrow as well.

Many teams around the league also issued statements in support of the Chiefs, including from the NFL league office.

“We are deeply saddened by the senseless shooting that occurred today near the end of the rally in Kansas City for the Chiefs,” the league said. “Our thoughts are with the victims and everyone affected.

“We are grateful for the quick and thorough response of law enforcement and emergency personnel.

The Chiefs issued a statement Wednesday night to confirm that “all of our players, coaches, staff and their families are safe and accounted for.”

(Photo: Jamie Squire / Getty Images)





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