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'Inches from my whole future': Bullet narrowly misses lung of boy injured in Chiefs rally shooting

Samuel and Aby Arellano
Posted at 8:22 PM, Feb 15, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-15 23:25:54-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Samuel Arellano said it was just "inches" that saved his future after a deadly mass shooting unfolded at the Chiefs Champions Victory Parade rally on Wednesday.

The 10-year-old boy was one of the 23 people struck by gunfire as the rally wrapped up, and the bullet just barely missed his lungs.

"We're walking, and then we see people fighting, and then they pull out a gun and start shooting," Samuel Arellano said. "One of them hit me while I tried to face toward my grandpa and my uncle and my cousin."

As the chaos ensued, the boy ran to hide behind a trash can, but was still hit.

He said instincts learned from active shooter training in school kicked in.

"They showed me what to do — duck down, hide, don't run," he said.

His mother, Aby Arellano, had dropped the boy off at the parade along with his grandfather and other family members.

Later in the day, as she watched the parade from home, Aby received a call from her father, who notified her of the shooting.

He told her they had not been struck, but that Samuel was only stepped on as he was looking for cover during the chaos. He requested Aby pick them up.

The family showed KSHB 41 a photo of his Patrick Mahomes jersey that had a footprint on it from when he was stepped on.

Patrick Mahomes jersey
Patrick Mahomes jersey

After she managed to find her son and the rest of her family, Aby noticed her son holding his rib in pain.

The family again attributed it to being stepped on, but Samuel thought different.

"It felt like getting stabbed," he said. "It could've been inches from my whole future."

It was only after they arrived back home that the family realized the boy had been shot.

For Aby, feelings of terror and shock overcame her.

"I saw my son's gunshot wound, and it was very traumatic to see," she said. "It's still hard to describe what it felt like."

Both of them had trouble sleeping the night after the shooting, and as a kid, it's something that will always stick with him.

"Looking at the (bullet) hole," Samuel Arellano said. "I'm just going to get flashbacks."

Though it was a traumatic day like no other for the family, Aby Arellano is grateful her son is alive.

"I'm grateful with God, because he gave my son a second chance at life," she said. "It was a long night, we couldn't sleep, but thank God he's with us."

The boy was treated at Children's Mercy after being transported by ambulance, where the family witnessed more chaos among other families.

They said they're thinking of the other victims of the shooting and sending their best wishes.