49 mass shootings in 46 days: Concerns over public safety increase amid latest incident in Kansas City

There have been more mass shootings than days so far in 2024, with 49 mass shootings reported over the past 46 days.

These statistics are leading many people to worry if the next mass casualty event will happen in their immediate area.

The latest mass shooting that unfolded amid throngs of people at the Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl celebration Wednesday, resulted in 22 people injured and a woman killed.

Kansas City Police Chief Stacey Graves said that the people injured in the shooting ranged between the ages of 8 and 47 years old, half of whom were under the age of 16.

The woman killed in the shooting was identified by radio station KKFI-FM as Lisa Lopez-Galvan, host of “Taste of Tejano.”

With thousands headed to the Daytona 500 in the coming days, and locals headed to events like Amelia Island’s car show, News4JAX asked people if they are concerned about their safety when attending crowded events.

“YES! Is a shame that nowadays nobody can enjoy a parade, going to church, to the grocery store, to the mall,” an Insider wrote.

Another Insider wrote: “No one is safe anywhere anymore.”

RELATED | TELL US: Are you concerned about your safety when attending crowded events?

So, what can you do to protect yourself and the people you love at crowded events?

News4JAX Crime and Safety Analyst Tom Hackney, who worked 29 years with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, said the first step may be to change your mindset altogether.

“You really have to think a different way,” Hackney said.

Hackney suggests that in every public place, whether it’s a football game, a grocery store, or the mall, to think and talk about the quickest exit strategy if something were to tragically go wrong.

“If you happen to be a the mall, almost every store has an exit in the back of the store to the mall, allowing employees to come and receive goods, that’s a good exit plan. The back rooms of stores, if you’re in a grocery store and you hear communication in the front, head to the back room, if something happening, you find your way to the back or find a place to hide,” Hackney said.

Surveillance video from the Kansas City victory parade shows people panicking and running in the opposite direction. Hackney said a critical part of being aware in this situation is doing everything you can not to fall to the ground.

“When that gunfire is going on, you need to move away from that in every way you can, and do everything you can in your power to stay on your feet. A trampling death is another real concern when you have that many people. When you watch your video of the people in Kansas City there, that’s thousands of people,” Hackney said.

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Video from Wednesday also revealed that a Chiefs fan tackled a man who was running away from the scene armed.

“So I just, you don’t think about it. It’s just a reaction. He got close to me. I got the right angle on him, and I hit him from behind,” Paul Contras said.

While it’s unclear if Contras apprehended a shooting suspect, News4JAX asked Hackney his thoughts about civilians getting involved after a mass shooting event.

“If you happen to be right there and you have to do something as a last resort, you can but realize the risks to your life and limb. You’re taking your empty hands to a gunfight in many cases like that and that can have deadly outcomes.”

News4JAX also asked Hackney about what people should do if they are carrying a concealed handgun, and make the split-second decision to take a shot at the gunman. Hackney said in this situation, it’s vital that you announce, that you are not a suspect and you are engaging with who you believe is the gunman.

He said otherwise, police or another person who is armed, could mistake you for an active shooter.

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