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Kansas woman describes seeing gunman and first people shot during Chiefs rally


Bridget Barton, her husband Jason and their 13-year-old daughter Gabriella were at Union Station celebrating the Chiefs' Super Bowl on Wednesday when things took a turn for the worst.

Twenty-two people were shot at the end of the rally -- including nine children -- and one woman died.

Barton described being overly excited that her daughter, who was finally old enough to enjoy events like the parade, could tag along with her and her husband. Her daughter repped a Travis Kelce t-shirt, a red tutu, red, dangling earrings and had her face painted yellow and red. She brought along her friend Emma for the experience.

"She didn't sleep the night before, so like if that tells you how excited she was," Barton said. "She's a huge, huge Chiefs fan, especially Travis Kelce and then there's mama Swiftie."

Barton said the four were packing up to leave, when they heard a "pop, pop, pop."

Barton said she didn't realize the noise she heard at first were gunshots, adding that she thought they were fireworks to end the parade. However, making eye contact with one of the gunmen made her realize the moment wasn't one for celebrations.

"By the time I heard the third pop and made eye contact with the gunman, I had grabbed my daughter by the back of her neck and went to go grab her friend Emma and she wasn't there," Barton said.

Barton said Emma had immediately taken off running when she heard the gunshots, sending she and her husband into a panic. The chaos of others running away and Emma's phone being dead added to the terrifying moments, Barton said.

"The instant panic and fear that I felt because I was responsible for somebody else's child and thinking that she was one of the victims," Barton said.

Barton said she remembers seeing multiple people shot in various areas. She said her husband had to perform CPR on a man with a gun shot wound and her daughter was next to the woman who passed.

The sight is something she said will never leave their heads, especially her daughter who had to witness the scene as a teenager.

Barton described feeling helpless in the moment, and still desperately trying to find Emma, while also keeping her daughter safe.

"I ran up to one officer and started shaking him and I said 'you have to help me find this little girl, she's not mine,' Barton said. "So, then we got back up and ran back and at that point there was more firing and so then we ducked down.

After hours of questioning by police, Barton said she and her family returned home, where they reunited with her daughter's friend who had been picked up from the parade by her mother.

Later that night, she noticed a bullet hole in a backpack she brought.

"I thought it was a rock, and Jason comes over and looks at it and he goes oh my gosh that's a slug," Barton said. "And I broke down just sobbing and so did he, we realized you know like this was close to not just trauma of what we saw, but this could have been us."

The ricochet from the bullet burned her daughter's legs, leaving "bee stings" or "chicken pox" like marks on her legs, Barton said. She said she brought the bullet to Kansas City police for evidence.

Barton said it appeared the gunmen weren't shooting at one another, and were aiming at the large crowd of what was expected to be 1 million people. The Kansas City Police Department said the shooting appeared to stem from a dispute.

KCPD said they recovered several firearms from the shooting, but didn't go into detail. Barton said she remembers seeing a larger gun.

"It wasn't just a regular gun, it went pop pop pop pop pop pop," Barton said. "The clip had dropped down by my husband and it was laying right there next to the guy that he gave CPR to."

Barton said the gunmen were pretty covered up, so she didn't get a good look at their faces. She said she told police they were no older than 25.

Barton said her daughter, Gabriella has not returned to school since the shooting. Though her family is physically okay, she fears the mental aspect of the day will continue to weigh on her daughter.She said the two have plans to attend a concert in the future and her daughter has always dreamt of becoming doctor. Her hope is the events of Wednesday don't deter her from pursuing that.

However, she said she's unsure of when they'll attend their next large event.

"It's hard, it's's so fresh and so vivid and it's not supposed to happen," Barton said.

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Nia Hinson


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