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Bouncer recalls ‘chaotic’ scene at nightclub shooting

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Posted at 3:05 PM, Jan 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-20 19:43:05-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A member of the security team at 9ine Ultra Nightclub detailed the moments before and after a gunman opened fire on a line of people waiting to get into the club.

41 Action News reporter Sarah Plake spoke to the bouncer, who did not want his identity used. This bouncer is not the same security personnel who shot and ultimately killed the gunman.

“One second everybody was just sitting there trying to get into the club,” the bouncer said. “Then next thing you know, ‘Boom, boom, boom.’ People started falling and scattering."

By the end of the incident, two people – a woman, identified Monday afternoon as 25-year-old Raeven Parks, and the suspect, Jahron Swift – were dead and as many as 15 people injured, though police said not all might have been gunshot victims.

The incident came as the city celebrated the Kansas City Chiefs first trip to the Super Bowl in 50 years.

“This was a Chiefs party to celebrate the Chiefs victory,” the bouncer said. “We were thinking everybody would come out and be excited, but things turned out for the worst.”

The bouncer said he thinks Swift fired into the crowd because he was denied entry to the club. The bouncer pulled into the parking lot that night to work security and saw Swift get into a fight outside the club.

"They pushed him down, he got up, he got slammed into a whole other vehicle that was in front of me," the bouncer said. "Then once he got slammed, he ran past my truck and said, 'Bet.'"

Just minutes later, Swift started shooting.

“I’m thinking he’s going to his car to leave and mind his own business, but that wasn’t the case,” the bouncer said.

The bouncer said Swift again tried to get in the club, holding the handgun, but inside security pushed him out. The bouncer said Swift went to his vehicle a second time and came back with an assault rifle.

Another security guard came outside to help find Swift, who was reportedly walking around in the parking lot with the gun.

"We made sure we knew who it was," the bouncer said. "He kind of chased him down, a couple shots rang out then eventually ended up deceased over somewhere in the parking lot."

KCPD officials said they believe the security guard who shot and killed Swift is a member of its Private Officers Licensing department, and has a commissioned card through the police.

The bouncer echoed the complaints of many people who spoke out on social media about the shooting, saying there should have been better security outside the club, although this could have happened anywhere.

Rick Smith, chief of the Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department, said officers had been at the club earlier that night, but left minutes before the shooting.

"This club had come up previously," Smith said during a news conference Monday."We knew it was an issue at some other times in the past. Officers had done a check of the parking lot and were less than a minute out when we had received our first call, so we had just been there."

Smith said they believe a drive-by shooting happened at the club just one week before.

“It’s another act of senseless violence in our city to take innocent lives over something as minor as a fight,” the bouncer said.

Editor's note: A previous version of this story spelled the victim's name incorrectly.