The Kansas City Chiefs football team earned a conference championship and trip to the Super Bowl on Sunday, but what should have been a celebratory night at a local Kansas City, Missouri, nightclub owned by a former Chiefs player turned into tragedy as a fight between patrons devolved into a deadly mass shooting in the parking lot.
Local CBS affiliate KCTV reported that police are continuing to investigate the shooting incident that left two people dead, one of whom was the shooter. At least 15 others were injured, though not all of those injuries may be from gunshot wounds.
Argument turns violent
The shooting occurred outside the 9ine Ultra Lounge in Kansas City around 11:30 p.m. when the suspect — identified as 29-year-old Jahron Swift — opened fire on the crowd of people waiting to get inside the club, killing 25-year-old Raeven Parks. The shooter was killed via return fire from an armed security guard.
Swift reportedly had a criminal record and was prohibited from possessing any firearms — but criminals don’t obey the laws and he was reportedly in possession of multiple weapons at the club.
According to the police, eyewitness accounts, and interviews with security, it appears that Swift had been engaged in an altercation with other patrons waiting outside the club and was barred from entry. He reportedly retrieved his firearms from a vehicle and then began to shoot until his spree was ended by the armed security guard.
Police are hoping that any witnesses to the shooting, especially any who may have cell phone video of the incident, come forward to aid the investigation.
It was also reported that police have responded to other incidents at the club previously, including a drive-by shooting in the parking lot just a week prior, and the city’s Regulated Industries Division is reportedly investigating to see if there are any specific issues with the business itself that needs to be addressed.
According to local NBC affiliate KSHB, the scene at the nightclub was described as “chaotic” by one of the bouncers. He was not the one who returned fire against the shooter and requested that he be allowed to remain anonymous.
“One second everybody was just sitting there trying to get into the club,” he recalled. “Then next thing you know, ‘Boom, boom, boom.’ People started falling and scattering.”
The bouncer said that Swift had been denied entry after getting in a fight with other people standing outside. He went to his vehicle and come back with a handgun, only to be denied entry again by the security team. Swift then reportedly returned to his vehicle once more and re-emerged with a rifle before opening fire.
The armed guard came outside due to all of the commotion and reportedly chased Swift down in the parking lot and returned fire against him. “It’s another act of senseless violence in our city to take innocent lives over something as minor as a fight,” the unnamed bouncer said.
One thing this terrible tragedy proves, however, is that criminals don’t obey gun control laws and that the best way to stop a bad guy with a gun is, and always will be, a good guy with a gun.