Jahron Swift was identified by authorities as the gunman in a mass shooting that left at least 16 people wounded, 1 fatally, at a Kansas City nightclub a couple hours after the Kansas City Chiefs won a spot in the Super Bowl.
The shooter also died at the scene. The shooting occurred outside at 9ine Ultra Lounge bar about 11:30 p.m. on January 19, 2020 in the 4800 block of Noland Road. You can see videos from the scene below but be aware that the language is graphic. It is not yet clear whether all of the wounded suffered gunshot injuries. The bar was hosting a Chiefs’ party.
It emerged that prosecutors dismissed a previous weapons charge against Swift because of a change in state gun laws.
Kansas City.com reported that the shooter “started firing into a line of people waiting to get inside” the club. The motive remains unclear. Jahron Swift was 29 years old and a resident of Kansas City.
Quinton Lucas, the mayor, wrote on Twitter, “Our greatest challenges remain even this morning in our community. My thoughts are with the families and friends of those whose lives were lost or impacted by last night’s mass shooting. Thankful security appears to have kept the situation from being even worse.”
The female victim is 25 year old Raven Parks.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. An Armed Security Guard ‘Engaged’ the Shooter, Police Say
In a news conference, Kansas City Police Chief Richard Smith said the first call came in at 11:27 p.m.
“This club had come up previously. We knew it was an issue at other points in time in the past. Officers had done a check of the parking lot and were less than a minute out when we got our first call,” he said.
He confirmed that there were 15 injured but police were still looking into the extent of those injuries, including how many were from gunfire.
“No one fired a weapon other than the security guard and suspect. Police officers fired no shots at the scene,” Smith said. He said the shooting ignited after a “disturbance in the club…in the line waiting to get in. This incident unraveled shortly after that disturbance.” Police don’t know what caused the disturbance. The chief said he was aware of social media reports that people were cutting in line but said they haven’t confirmed that.
The guard was inside the club and “heard commotion. He went outside and that’s when he confronted the suspect,” the police chief said. Asked whether the shooting was random, the chief said he wasn’t sure.
On January 19th, at about 11:30 p.m., “officers were dispatched to the 4800 block of Noland rd. on a shooting,” police wrote in an earlier statement. “Upon arrival officers located one deceased adult female and one deceased adult male.”
Police continued, “As the investigation unfolded at least 15 other victims arrived at area hospitals. At this time 3 of those victims are listed in critical condition. An armed security guard at the business engaged the shooter outside of the establishment.”
They added: “We believe the shooter is the deceased adult male. The circumstances that lead to this shooting are unknown. Detectives and crime scene investigators will be collecting evidence and talking with witnesses to gather more information to see what lead to this shooting…The next anticipated information release will most likely be the ID of deceased victims once the next of kin have been notified.”
Police later identified the suspect as Jahron Swift in a news conference, which you can watch in full above. The security guard at the scene was “private security,” according to police.
2. Swift Had a Criminal History That Included a Weapons Offense & Video Emerged From the Scene
Swift had a previous criminal history. According to Missouri state court records, he was accused of unlawful use of a weapon and possession of a controlled substance (marijuana) in 2017. He received three years probation and a suspended sentence for that charge.
In 2016, he received another charge for unlawful use of a weapon. However, according to Kansas City.com, prosecutors had no choice but to dismiss those charges because “Missouri legislators approved measures that permitted concealed weapons to be carried without a permit.”
There are also some civil cases and a paternity action against him. A court ordered him to pay child support.
Video captured gunfire and what appears to be people pursuing the gunman. Be aware that there is bad language in it.
Another video shows a man running while carrying what appears to be a wounded woman in his arms. “Are you hit?” a man says in one of the videos.
Another video, which Heavy.com has reviewed but is choosing not to run, shows the body of what appears to be the shooter in a parking lot.
The mayor declared himself “incredibly frustrated.”
“Last night was a night that a lot of people have been dreaming of in Kansas City … and why we won’t necessarily say that folks aren’t still happy. This is very disappointing for us. It’s heartbreaking for a number of things.”
He added, “There’s too much of this in Kansas City… I grew up in the inner city. Everybody’s tired of this.. let’s put a stop to this.”
3. People Expressed Shock on Facebook, With One Woman Calling it the ‘Scariest Moment of My Life’
People expressed shock on Facebook who were at the scene. “This was the scariest moment of my life. I will never unsee all of the lifeless bodies just laying there when we exited the club. ??♀️ prayers the the victims families and friends, ??” one woman wrote.
“I just seen a chick get shot in the head outside the door of the club. I’m sick,” wrote another man.
“It’s 2 dead bodies in the parking lot,” wrote another.
4. The Club Posted Earlier This Month That It Was Working to ‘Prevent Anyone’s Safety From Being Compromised’ But Police Say There Was a Drive-by Shooting in the Parking Lot Recently
On Facebook, the Lounge describes itself as, “Bringing fresh air to the Nightlife with great experiences and an even better VIP experience!” It adds, “Our mission is to bring a out of town experience to Kansas City Night Life.”
The night of the shooting, the lounge posted, “SECTIONS ARE SOLD OUT‼️‼️‼️ Early Arrival is Suggested ????” The poster for Sunday night highlighted the Chiefs playoffs game and the sounds of DJ Rocky Montana.
The club’s Facebook page indicates it’s been holding similar events each Sunday night.
On January 4, 2020, the club posted that it was aware of “allegations,” but it didn’t elaborate.
“The club is aware of the allegations and concerns that have transpired during the recent days. We have deep sympathy for those that have been impacted, or feel as though they may have been victimized in any way. While it is not practical for our establishment to be liable for the hundreds of individuals that patronize our business, we are working countless hours strategizing, and formulating remedies to prevent anyones safety from being compromised,” the post says.
“We will work diligently to get to the bottom of any incident that occurs on our premises, because we genuinely care about our customers and it is the right thing to do. However, we do want to assure the community that the circulating story does not comply with the morals and principles of the 9ine’s ownership, management, and staff. Thank you in advance for your patience as we further investigate this matter.”
There’s no indicate that post bore any relationship to the mass shooting, however.
Chief Smith said in the news conference that there was a drive-by shooting in the lot of the club about a week ago, and police have received reports of other people indicating there were incidents stemming from the club.
The mayor said that the regulated industries’ director will “look at this club. Will consider whether it is a nuisance. Whether it meets those standards.”
5. A Witness Said Fights Preceded the Shooting But Police Said the Suspect Wasn’t on Their ‘Radar’
The chief said in a news conference that Swift was not “on our radar in particular, no.”
As for the security guard, he said, “It appears he saved lives. We know there were multiple firearms involved, so the security guard saved lives.”
A witness told KSHB-TV that fights preceded the shooting. She told the television station that a security guard fired a warning shot to stop a parking lot fight before the mass shooting occurred.
Chief Smith said well over 50 officers responded to the scene. “They did a great job last night. This was very chaotic. We had hundreds of people fleeing… it was a very intense scene to say the least,” Smith said.