Fact Check: Photo Does NOT Show Kansas City Parade Shooting Suspect

Fact Check

  • by: Ed Payne
Fact Check: Photo Does NOT Show Kansas City Parade Shooting Suspect Not Shooter

Does a photo on social media of a man in a red sweatsuit show a suspect in the shooting that occurred on February 14, 2024 during the Kansas City Chiefs victory parade? No, that's not true: The individual in the photo is Denton Loudermill, who was detained by police for allegedly being intoxicated and for allegedly failing to move from the crime scene. He was released without receiving a citation, his attorney said at a news conference. Kansas City, Missouri, police told Lead Stories, "No one who is believed to be involved in the shooting has been released."

The claim appeared in a post (archived here) published on Instagram by lisacerbo on February 18, 2024. The post's on-screen text stated: "One of the Kansas City Chiefs victory parade shooters has been identified as an illegal Alien." Its caption said:

Oh what a shocker ...
No wonder this story disappeared from front pages

This is how the post appeared on Instagram at the time of writing:


(Source: Instagram screenshot taken on Mon Feb 18 20:05:25 2024 UTC)

The photo

The post used a real photo (archived here) from news coverage in the aftermath of the parade shooting. However, the caption didn't name the man in the red sweatsuit surrounded by police. That task fell to his attorney LaRonna Lassiter Saunders, who held a news conference (archived here) that was posted to social media on February 17, 2024, to "clear" his name. She identified him as a father of three and an "avid Chiefs fan."

A post on Facebook (archived here) by KMBC reporter Peyton Headlee shows Loudermill (red and blue circles below) with his attorney and some members of his family on the day of the news conference, just above the photo used to suggest he was one of the Kansas City shooters:


(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Mon Feb 19 22:35:58 2024 UTC)

During the news conference, Lassiter Saunders said Loudermill, an Olathe, Kansas, native -- not an "illegal alien" as stated in the social media post that is the focus of this article -- was at the parade as a Chiefs fan to enjoy the festivities. She said officers detained him for being intoxicated and not moving from the crime scene:

We are here because Mr. Denton, who was wrongly identified [on social media] as the mass shooter at the Kansas City Chiefs Parade. ... So, today, we just want to have truth come out. ...

Mr. Denton had several drinks but so did a half million other people, including some of the Chiefs players. It's not a crime. It doesn't make you a mass shooter. ...

Mr. Denton, he was not arrested. He did not receive a citation. He didn't shoot anyone. He was there in an all-red sweatsuit that went all viral all over the world because he had several drinks and was taking a little too long to move out of the officers' way, and they detained him. They detained several people. It's not a crime.

Although Lassiter Saunders called her client Mr. Denton, two local TV outlets -- KMBC and KSHB -- and other news outlets identified him as Denton Loudermill.

Speaking at the same news conference, Loudermill added:

I just want to clear my name that I had nothing to do with anything. I was just at the Chiefs ... parade ... I was just enjoying myself like everybody else, but other than that, I was out there not to harm anybody. I was just enjoying the parade like everybody else.

Kansas City Police Department

Sgt. Phil DiMartino, a spokesman for the Kansas City police, declined to identify Loudermill as the man in the red sweatsuit but did essentially rule him out as a shooting suspect. In a February 19, 2024, email to Lead Stories, he said:

There were many people detained at one time or another on Wednesday [February 14, 2024]. Some adults and some juveniles. Some of the detainments could result in future charges unrelated to the shootings.

No one who is believed to be involved in the shooting has been released.

Read more

Additional Lead Stories fact checks of claims about the Kansas City parade shooting can be found here.

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  Ed Payne

Ed Payne is a staff writer at Lead Stories. He is an Emmy Award-winning journalist as part of CNN’s coverage of 9/11. Ed worked at CNN for nearly 24 years with the CNN Radio Network and CNN Digital. Most recently, he was a Digital Senior Producer for Gray Television’s Digital Content Center, the company’s digital news hub for 100+ TV stations. Ed also worked as a writer and editor for WebMD. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, Ed is the author of two children’s book series: “The Daily Rounds of a Hound” and “Vail’s Tales.” 

Read more about or contact Ed Payne

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