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Leavenworth family of 3 shot at Chiefs rally shares recovery, reaction to charges

Emily Tavis and Jacob Gooch
Posted at 9:03 PM, Feb 20, 2024

LEAVENWORTH, Kan. — Like so many other families on Feb. 14, the day of a mass shooting at the Super Bowl celebration, everything was planned to the "t."

"All the way up to the end, good vibes, snacks packed — we were good to go all day," Emily Tavis said.

Emily Tavis, Jacob Gooch and family
Emily Tavis and Jacob Gooch's family enjoying the Super Bowl celebration.

In an instant, nothing was in their control.

Emily Tavis and Jacob Gooch were running for their lives.

"You didn't know if they were gonna start shooting again," Gooch said. "I had no idea where the kids were."

They were with their stepson and 7-year-old until they were separated in the chaos.

"I turned, covered my 7-year-old, pushed him down — we were on the ground," Tavis said.

Tavis realized later that she was shot in the leg.

Gooch has bones in his foot that shattered so much doctors describe them as dust. Tavis' stepson was shot too.

"From an extreme high to an extreme low is the only way to put it," Gooch said. "We were just ecstatic, seeing all the players having fun on the stage and walking off, highfiving — to a bullet in my leg."

Emily Tavis and Jacob Gooch
Emily Tavis, Jacob Gooch and their stepson in the hospital being treated for gunshot wounds.

Almost a week later, recovery and stability for the family are a work in progress.

"That's scary for me right now," he said. "My disability and her new job — I'm not 100% sure we will be okay financially."

Jackson County Prosecuting Attorney Jean Peters Baker announced on Tuesday that two adults, Dominic Miller and Lyndell Mays, face charges of second-degree murder in connection to the shooting.

Nearly all of the victims injured from the shooting have been released from the hospital. This family is one of many waiting for justice.

"Hopefully, they can get all the people that were a part of this," Gooch said. "There's a lot of justice needing to be served, a lot of families affected, a lot of lives affected."

They also wait for everything to settle.

"I don't know If I'm traumatized, I don't know," Gooch said.

This family has learned even in planning ahead the unexpected happens. As far as their path to healing, they wait for that too.

"I guess I'm gonna cross that bridge when I get there," Tavis said. "Well, I am going to cross that bridge. I'm not gonna not try it."