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'An incredible person': Jackson County legislator Manny Abarca remembers victim of Chiefs rally shooting

Manny Abarca discusses Chiefs rally shooting
Posted at 5:08 AM, Feb 15, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-15 06:17:28-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Jackson County legislator Manny Abarca's day was going like everyone else's at the Chiefs Champions Victory Parade.

"Sunshine, rainbows, I mean it was a picturesque day, perfect weather. I just have these memories now of my daughter catching confetti," Abarca said. "And then all of a sudden in a snap it was a wave of fear coming at us and it was Mrs. Clark Hunt and one of her daughters rushing in with us. It was Andy Reid."

Abarca saw the chaos of the scene unfold, fearing for the safety for his daughter.

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"I was watching people being trampled — people falling, screaming, running," Abarca said.

Abarca and his daughter were hunkered down with the Chiefs, still not knowing they were just in the middle of a mass shooting.

"And she goes, 'Daddy, it's a drill. Daddy, it's a drill,'" Abarca recounted. "She's in kindergarten, she unfortunately has had to live in a society where she knows what to do in active shooter situations."

22 people, including 9 children, were struck by gunfire in the area on Wednesday.

Abarca didn't have a moment to take it in before realizing the only deceased victim was a friend of his: Lisa Lopez-Galvan, a DJ for KKFI 90.1 FM, according to the radio station.

"It is tragic to know that we lost a person like Lisa, that her children are suffering without their mother," he said.

22 victims and one of them was someone he thought the world of.

"Lisa was an incredible person. She was a community advocate," he said. "A volunteer, basically, on KKFI radio, connecting the Latino community to a larger audience."

He said the way a day of celebration that was picture perfect ended will impact him and his daughter for life.

"There's going to be a time I'm going to need to grapple with these feelings and emotions and that may be at Lisa's funeral," he said.