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Dad who went to Kansas City Chiefs parade with daughters recounts tackling man with gun: ‘I took him down’

Paul Contreras said on TODAY that he was one of the individuals who ran after and tackled a man with a gun at the celebration until officials arrived.
/ Source: TODAY

A father who attended the Kansas City Chiefs' Super Bowl victory parade with his three daughters in downtown Kansas City is recounting the moment he helped contain a man armed with a gun at the event where thousands of Chiefs fans were celebrating.

Paul Contreras of Bellevue, Nebraska, was one of the individuals who chased and tackled the man until officials arrived on Wednesday. He and daughter Alyssa Marsh-Contreras spoke to Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie live on TODAY on Feb. 15.

"It was just a reaction. He was running the wrong way. There was another gentleman just screaming at the top of his lungs, 'This guy, tackle him,'" Contreras said.

"I wasn't sure until he came running, and I had a perfect angle to do what I did. I took him down. As I took him down, I see the weapon, the gun, fall to the ground. Whether I hit it out of his hand or it fell out of his jacket — because he was wearing a bulky jacket — I see it. ... So I knew right then and there, 'OK, he's got one weapon and this one's on the ground. He may have another one.'"

Shooting At Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl Victory Parade
People take cover during a shooting at the Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl victory parade on Feb. 14. Several people were shot and three people were detained, officials said.Jamie Squire / Getty Images

One person was killed in the shooting, an individual identified by her family as Lisa Lopez-Galvan of Kansas City, according to NBC News. At least 21 others were injured — including 11 people between ages 6 and 15 — when shots were fired at about 2 p.m. CT, authorities said. Three people were detained, though police have not identified them or announced any charges against them.

Contreras said he did not see the face of the man he tackled.

"When I took him down to the ground, his hood went over his head so he was face down the whole time," he said. "I had him face down to the ground with me on top of him and another good Samaritan who helped me."

He said police officers arrested the person when they came to the scene. "I'm looking for where my daughters are at, because I'm there with all my three daughters," he added.

Alyssa Marsh-Contreras said on TODAY that she, her father and her sisters were making their way to their car when they heard shots fired.

"We hear multiple pops that I think everybody assumed were fireworks," she said. "We saw two males running along with multiple cops chasing them that I think everybody realized those might not have been fireworks for the celebration."

Chiefs trainer Rick Burkholder told The Associated Press that the team, coaches and staff members were on a bus back to Arrowhead Stadium when shots were fired. Players and others within the Chiefs organization shared statements following the shooting.

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

"Praying for Kansas City," quarterback Patrick Mahomes also wrote on X.

President Joe Biden also issued a statement Feb. 14, calling on Congress to ban assault weapons "to keep guns out of the hands of those who have no business owning them or handling them."

"Today’s events should move us, shock us, shame us into acting," Biden said in the statement. "What are we waiting for? What else do we need to see? How many more families need to be torn apart?"