February 14, 2024, was supposed to be a joyous day for ebullient Kansas City Chiefs fans, who were celebrating the Chiefs’ victory over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LVIII, their second such victory in as many years. More than 800 law enforcement officers were present to protect the estimated one million attendees.  Less than a minute passed between the time when 23-year-old Lyndell Mays pulled out his stolen Glock 9mm parabellum pistol and opened fire, and the last shots rang out.  A Taurus G3 9mm parabellum pistol was also recovered, linked to 18-year-old Dominic Miller, with police stating additional firearms were recovered as well.

Police respond after the first sound of shots fired.

By the time it was over,  Lisa Lopez-Galvan, a well-known local DJ, was dead and more than two dozen injured: half of those under the age of 16, according to Kansas City Missouri Police (KCPD) Chief Stacey Graves. Both Mr. Mays and Mr. Miller were arrested several days after the shooting, although two juveniles were arrested almost immediately.  While the juveniles have not been identified, police did disclose they were being detained on firearm and resisting arrest charges.

Sadly, nothing is new about another mass shooting in America, but what made this one more notable was its connection to the Super Bowl winning Chiefs, and the high body count, with nine children shot. Mr. Mays and Mr. Miller are currently being held on $1 million bond, charged with four felony counts each, including second-degree murder. Additionally, Kansas City, Missouri, has long been plagued with substantial gun crime, so much so that in 2020, it was selected as one of nine cities for a firearms violent crime surge by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), FBI, DEA, and the United States Marshals Service working jointly with their state and local counterparts. Named Operation LeGend, Department of Justice criminal investigators focused on nine U.S. cities to target trigger pullers and those responsible for firearms-related violent crime. In fact, according to 2023 data reviewed by the Associated Press, Kansas City set a homicide record last year, with the vast majority of their 185 murders having been committed with firearms.

 Mays and Miller – What We Know

 Mr. Lyndell Mays’ arrest was not his first encounter with law enforcement over a gun-related incident. In fact, only about a week prior to his arrest for the Kansas City Superbowl victory parade, he had been released from two years of probation for brandishing a gun and disorderly conduct during a basketball game after he got into an argument with other spectators.  During questioning by KCPD police following the parade shootout, Mr. Mays admitted to opening fire on a group of people with whom he had been arguing but claimed he did so because someone in the group stated, “I’m going to get you.”  Mr. Marques Harris, a friend of Mr. Miller, claimed Mr. Miller was just protecting him.  Mr. Harris, a juvenile, was shot in the neck during the melee. But Mr. Miller’s actions, even if eventually found to be defensive in nature, will be complicated by the fact law enforcement ballistically tied his firearm to the bullet that killed Ms. Lopez-Galvan, something set out in the KCPD probable cause document.

What’s Next?

While many believe the case has largely left the active investigative phase, this is not necessarily the case.  Early in the event, the FBI and KCPD asked for the public’s help in getting video of the incident. The video takes time to review, and if past mass shooting incidents are any indication, the material will trickle in for some time. Given the formidable amount of evidence, KCPD statements “several” guns were recovered, and the observation about multiple groups of people being involved in the initial altercation, additional charges (to include federal weapons charges for prohibited possession), are not outside the realm of possibility.  As is always the case following mass shootings, calls for gun control quickly arose, and some will question whether such large celebrations are simply untenable given the possibility of violence and the cost of providing adequate security.


We are social creatures who love to celebrate, particularly when it comes to cheering for our favorite team.  While it might be tempting to dismiss incidents like this mass shooting as an aberration or rarity, the sheer volume of mass shootings, their steady rise, and the unpredictability of target selection makes attending any large event a balancing act between personal safety and enjoyment.  Cities, for their part, seem eager to host such gatherings, although much as the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing forever changed the way we look at large sporting event security, local leaders may need to find better ways to protect their constituents in their revelry, perhaps by holding events in venues where entry and egress can be controlled and all entrants screened for weapons.  A sad but sobering conclusion on life in 21st century America.