What to Be Aware of When Attending a Public Event as Concerns Rise After Kansas City Chiefs Shooting

“People were being trampled, you know, just getting knocked over and then people are telling us to get down on the ground,” Kansas City Chiefs victory parade-goer Amanda Wienck says.

Many people are wondering if they should stay away from major public events after the shooting during the Kansas City Chiefs victory parade.

Amanda Wienck and her 11-year-old daughter Gracie were at the parade, along with an estimated one million other people. They fled when gunfire erupted.

“People were being trampled, you know, just getting knocked over and then people are telling us to get down on the ground, ‘Get down, get down,’ so we just went down to the ground with everybody,” Wienck says.

The shooting is the latest in a string of public event nightmares. Last June, 10 people were wounded when a shooting broke out as Denver Nuggets fans celebrated their team’s NBA championship. In 2022, seven people were killed when a gunman opened fire at a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois. In 2021, a driver deliberately drove into a Christmas parade in Wisconsin, killing six. And, in 2017, 60 concertgoers lost their lives when a shooter opened fire from a hotel window in Las Vegas.

Experts say there are things people should be aware of before attending any parade, rally, or large public gathering, the biggest takeaway being to think about where to seek refuge in the event trouble breaks out.

“You have to always be aware and ready,” crowd management expert Paul Wertheimer.

Wertheimer recommends wearing footwear with non-skid soles such as athletic shoes or hiking shoes.

“Flip flops, not a good idea. You don’t want to lose your shoes or have trouble running,” the expert says.

He says children should carry ID and emergency medical information.

“Include the information in a collar, inside a sleeve, on an arm that’s covered, on a belt, on the waist, but don’t leave it exposed for the general public to see,” Wertheimer says. “There are a lot of creeps in crowds.”

If fleeing a situation, Wertheimer also recommends keeping going even if you drop your cellphone, purse, or jewelry.

“You don’t want to stop. You might be trampled, You might cause injury to other people, and whatever you drop is less costly than your life,” Wertheimer says.

When Gayle King asked the mayor of Kansas City if the United States was at a stage where it is terrifying to go anywhere in the country, the mayor said, “I don’t know. I don’t know. What I do know is, this is not the way I want to live.”

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