Champion quarterback makes hospital visit to Madison and Melia Reyes, who were hit by gunfire in Kansas City mass shooting

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and his wife, Brittany, visited two young sisters who were both shot in the legs during Wednesday’s parade for the reigning Super Bowl champions.

The Mahomeses on Thursday paid a call to 10-year-old Madison Reyes and Melia Reyes, age eight, at Children’s Mercy hospital in Kansas City, Missouri, where they were recovering from surgeries.

Pictures published by People showed the quarterback and his wife, both 28, smiling and posing next to the Reyes sisters along with their 13-year-old brother and their parents.

The Reyes family called Wednesday’s shooting at a celebration for the Chiefs’ third Super Bowl championship in four years “a senseless act”. The violence killed local DJ Lisa Lopez-Galvan – a 43-year-old mother of two – while wounding 22 people.

According to authorities, the victims ranged in age from eight to 47 years old, with half of them under 16.

“We are avid Chiefs fans and very proud of our home team through the highs and the lows. Madison and Melia’s lives have forever changed since Wednesday’s senseless act,” the Reyes family’s statement said, according to People.

“In a time where they are traumatized, saddened, and worried, having a surprise appearance from Patrick and Brittany Mahomes brought the first smile to their faces since tragedy struck,” the statement added. “Even though they will be wearing casts for several months, they are excited to show loved ones that Patrick signed their cast.

“We want to thank the Mahomes family for being so kind, caring, and loving to our little ones and ask that the community please keep them in their prayers as they navigate life moving forward.”

A GoFundMe campaign set up for the family has surpassed $185,000 raised from more than 1,400 donors. Among the donors is the Chiefs’ star tight end Travis Kelce, who donated $100,000 through his Eighty-Seven and Running charity.

Meanwhile, pop superstar Taylor Swift – Kelce’s girlfriend – separately donated $100,000 to the family of Lopez-Galvan.

In response to the shooting, the Chiefs have also launched KC Strong, an emergency response fund to support the victims and their families. The fund, which had raised more than $546,000 as of Saturday morning, is also planning to support violence-prevention and recovery organizations, along with first responders.

Authorities announced that two juveniles had been charged in connection with the shooting. According to a news release from the Jackson county family court division, the pair were detained on “gun-related and resisting arrest charges”.

It added that “additional charges are expected in the future as the investigation by the Kansas city police department continues”.

Missouri has been described as having “appallingly weak gun laws”, according to the Giffords firearms safety group. Giffords reports that the state lacks concealed carry permits, universal background checks, gun owner licensing, assault weapon restrictions and waiting periods.

In 2021, Missouri ranked ninth-highest in the number of firearm mortalities across the country, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.