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'I'm not doing well': Kansas City man visits family member, Chiefs rally shooting victim in hospital

Mark Byrd
Posted at 2:52 PM, Feb 16, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — For Mark Byrd and thousands of others, celebrations for the Chiefs Super Bowl Championship parade started early Wednesday, and then later, everything changed.

"It was the end of celebrating, we were all hungry," Byrd said. "We were all thinking about going to eat and moving on, and we looked up and we heard gun shots and everyone just scattered."

Byrd said he went east of Union Station, and got separated from some of his family.

"Seeing just terrified kids , just crying and falling," Byrd said. "I was helping seniors up off the ground, women having their legs stuck in the fence and the bars...just terrible , terrible day."

One of Byrd's family members, a teenager, was one of the victims shot.

"I'll be honest, I'm not doing well. I'm not doing well," Byrd said. "I have small children and to be honest I suffer from PTSD from things that I've seen in my past, from shootings. So that triggers a lot of different things of feelings. For it to touch home and have family member that's in the hospital. I'm thankful my children are at home and school today safe, but it's all the other children. They're never going to forget this."

Byrd says he's not doing a lot of talking with his family member.

"At this point it's just healing. It's not a lot conversation right now, it's about healing and getting back to a point of somewhat of a normal life again. But it's just...this is going to go on for us for a long time," Byrd said. "He's doing okay. He's going to be okay, just terrified. He doesn't understand why you know. When you could be laughing and smiling, just celebrating and then just go to something so's really hard."

Byrd said after what happened Wednesday, he doesn't plan on bringing his children to future events.

"I think as an adult if it's something you want to enjoy and you want to risk, take that risk on yourself," Byrd said. "But I wouldn't take a child to a parade or an event like this ever again."

And while he's upset about what happened Wednesday, it doesn't come as a surprise.

"Apart of me wants to say I'm surprised, but another part of me doesn't," Byrd said. "I'm the type of parent that every time I go in places, I'm always looking for exits..I've taught my children you know look for exits, make sure you know how to get out of a place in case something happens. You know, it's just sad"

He went on to say something needs to change.

"We're a strong city. We represent strong and the Chiefs is one part of it, but we're family. This is a family city. We're built strong to stay together, but we have to learn to live together and we have to learn to be kind to eachother," Byrd said. "And you know, put the guns down, put these guns down. If you see your child with a gun, take the gun from them. You don't need to be your child's friend cause it's not going to hit home until it hits your home."