Kansas City Grappled With Shootings Long Before the Super Bowl

Across the country, Americans were shocked and horrified by the images on Wednesday from Kansas City, Mo., after shots were fired into a crowd of jubilant parade-goers celebrating the city’s Super Bowl win.

To people intimately aware of the entrenched violence in Kansas City, the shooting was painfully familiar.

There were 182 people killed in Kansas City last year, according to police data, surpassing a previous high in 2020. With a population of just over 500,000, Kansas City has one of the highest murder rates in the nation.

Rosilyn Temple, who founded the Kansas City chapter of Mothers in Charge after her son, Antonio, was killed in 2011, was at the scene of two separate shootings on Tuesday, the night before the Super Bowl celebration.

“It will get some big attention,” Ms. Temple said about the shooting at the rally. But after a year with record homicides in the city, she said, “it was just a matter of time” before there was a shooting that resulted in a large number of injuries or deaths.

City officials and community leaders have fought for years to reduce gun violence. Many of the homicides driving Kansas City’s record highs stem from arguments or other disputes, whether within families, groups of acquaintances or rival gangs, according to city officials and those involved in violence prevention efforts.

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