‘Not a monster’: Family of Lyndell Mays, charged in Chiefs rally shooting, speaks out


The first thing family members of Lyndell Mays want the community to know is that they are sorry people were hurt in the mass shooting at the Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl victory rally on Valentine’s Day.

The second thing is that they believe he acted in self-defense.

Mays, 23, was one of two men charged this week with second-degree felony murder in the shooting that injured 24 people and killed Lisa Lopez-Galvan, a mother of two who was a popular disc jockey and radio host.

“We’re so sorry for what happened to Lisa Lopez-Galvan and her family,” Mays’ father said.

“Our heart goes out to them,” Mays’ sister said.

The two sat down with The Star to talk about the events that unfolded Feb. 14 at Union Station. They asked that their names not be published because they said they have been receiving threats and fear for their safety.

They said Mays, who grew up in Raytown, is a good person who loves his family, animals and playing video games. He struggled with a learning disability and did not finish high school. Sometimes, they said, he had comprehension problems. His family supported him because he did not have a job.

He had recently completed probation after displaying a gun in 2021 at a Belton community center.

Mays’ sister was with him at the rally. The two were excited, as were hundreds of thousands of other fans, to celebrate the Chiefs’ victory over the San Francisco 49ers.

Lyndell Mays is shown in a photo provided by family members. His sister said he acted in self-defense. Courtesy of the Mays family

Lyndell Mays is shown in a photo provided by family members. His sister said he acted in self-defense. Courtesy of the Mays family

An unexpected confrontation

They were standing at Pershing and Kessler roads when they noticed a group of young men heading towards them, down the hill from the Liberty Memorial Tower.

It made Mays uncomfortable, his sister said. The group of guys kept staring. She asked him if he knew who they were and he said no.

“They made their way up to us in a crowd full of people,” she said.

They were raising their hands and “looking hostile.”

“Now they’re saying ‘n—- what you looking at?’”

Mays got more nervous.

“Why are you all still coming at us like we’re your target?” she recalled wondering.

Then they were standing in front of each other. There were at least four of them, she said. One of them had on a Chiefs puffer coat. Another had a red hoodie. One had dreadlocks. Two of them had backpacks.

Mays’ sister said she could see one of them had a gun in a backpack and another had a handgun in his pocket.

“To me it was intimidation,” she said.

She said the group was “hyped up.” She tried to de-escalate the situation, telling them that they didn’t want any problems.

The charging documents filed by Jackson County prosecutors accusing Mays in the shooting say he pulled out a gun — believed to have been stolen — first.

His sister said she wasn’t sure about that.

“They approached us,” she said.

“They were the aggressors.”

Bullets started flying.

After gunfire broke out at the Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl rally on Feb. 14 fans took cover and other fled the area around Union Station. Tammy Ljungblad/tljungblad@kcstar.com

After gunfire broke out at the Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl rally on Feb. 14 fans took cover and other fled the area around Union Station. Tammy Ljungblad/tljungblad@kcstar.com

Mays fell to the ground.

“I turn back around and run back to him,” she said.

Blood was coming out of his face and she asked for God’s mercy.

A nurse came over and helped tend to his wounds.

‘It makes no sense’

At the hospital, Mays’ family said they learned he had been shot nine times. He had a collapsed lung, a breathing tube was inserted and he underwent surgery.

The family casts doubt on allegations that he admitted to the Kansas City Police Department that he drew his gun first and fired.

They allege Kansas City police officers questioned him while he was being given opioids. The department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“How can you say my brother admitted to these statements when he was highly sedated?” Mays’ sister said. “It’s not logical. It makes no sense.”

When Mays’ father learned of the charges, he said he was shocked.

Mays was released from the hospital Tuesday and booked into the Jackson County jail. Family said he is now in the detention center’s infirmary.

Mays’ father said his son does not understand how he is charged with murder when he did not murder anyone.

Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker answers questions during a press conference at the Jackson County Courthouse on Feb. 20. Emily Curiel/ecuriel@kcstar.com

Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker answers questions during a press conference at the Jackson County Courthouse on Feb. 20. Emily Curiel/ecuriel@kcstar.com

Prosecutors allege that the bullet that killed Lopez-Galvan was fired by Dominic Miller, the second man charged with murder. However, Missouri law says that a person who did not pull the trigger can still be charged when someone is killed during the commission of a dangerous felony.

The two were also charged with armed criminal action and unlawful use of a weapon.

Mays’ family said they don’t think police or prosecutors considered that he may have acted in self-defense. The Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office declined to comment.

Mays’ sister said the group that approached them were the aggressors.

“My brother is my hero, my protector,” she said.

Missouri’s self-defense law, known as the “castle doctrine” or “stand your ground,” gives people wide latitude to use deadly force if they reasonably believe they are about to be attacked.

Mays’ sister said authorities were under pressure to get answers and her brother became “the one we point the finger at.”

However his family also acknowledges that he should not have had a gun at a parade. They said they would have told him he doesn’t need a firearm at all.

Missouri law generally allows firearms to be carried by adults, including anyone over 18, at parades and other large-scale gatherings.

They believe he should be held responsible for carrying a stolen gun to the parade, but not murder.

“I do not want them to think my brother is a monster because he is not a monster,” his sister said.



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