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Chiefs Fan Who Was at Parade with Grandkids Says Shooting 'Popped the Bubble' After Super Bowl Win (Exclusive)

“It was worse than a punch in the gut,” Mike Nigro, who attended the parade with his son and three grandchildren, tells PEOPLE of the tragedy

<p>Courtesy Michael Nigro</p> (L-R) Finn, Sawyer, Haley, Mike and Michael at the Chiefs parade on Feb. 14.

Courtesy Michael Nigro

(L-R) Finn, Sawyer, Haley, Mike and Michael at the Chiefs parade on Feb. 14.

Mike Nigro is a lifelong Kansas City Chiefs fan, and now that he’s a four-time grandfather, that hometown team love has been passed down through generations.

The 59-year-old network operations manager brought his family of fellow Chiefs fans — his son, Michael, 36, and three of his four grandchildren: Haley, 10, Sawyer, 10, and Finn, 8, — to the team's Super Bowl victory parade on Feb. 14, and never imagined that a day that should've been filled with nothing but celebration would end in tragedy.

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When gunshots rang out at the parade moments after the team finished speaking on stage, Mike was horrified.

“It was worse than a punch in the gut. It was like it took the thrill of the Super Bowl away. It put everything in perspective. How awful, how evil, how wrong,” Mike tells PEOPLE.

Related: 10-Year-Old Boy Shot at Chiefs Super Bowl Parade Says He's 'Going to Get Flashbacks'

“And I was really taken back. I'm a person of faith. I went right into prayer. I prayed for these people: God, don't let anyone die. And unfortunately, a wonderful person, a DJ here in town, a mother, she did pass away," says Mike, remembering Lisa Lopez-Galvan, a mother of two, and a DJ at KKFI 90.1 FM. She was 43.

<p>Lisa Lopez-Galvan/Facebook</p>

Lisa Lopez-Galvan/Facebook

"Every day, I'm on my [Instagram] reels looking for Chiefs highlights and stuff like that. And on TV, I’m looking for breakdowns of the games. I didn't want to see any of that [after]. I couldn't watch," says Mike of how the tragedy shook him. "It kind of popped a bubble a little bit there. Not kind of, it did. It was horrible."

While the family struggled with watching something that normally brought them joy turn into something so dark and twisted, they remain endlessly thankful to be unharmed — especially considering that this year so many of the kids, many of whom had become Chiefs fans thanks to Taylor Swift's relationship with Travis Kelce, tagged along.

Michael's daughter, Haley, his niece Sawyer and his nephew Finn all couldn't wait to get to the parade as soon as possible on the morning of Feb. 14.

<p>Courtesy Michael Nigro</p> (Back, L-R) Mike and Michael Nigro, (Front, L-R) Finn, Haley and Sawyer at the Chiefs parade on Feb. 14

Courtesy Michael Nigro

(Back, L-R) Mike and Michael Nigro, (Front, L-R) Finn, Haley and Sawyer at the Chiefs parade on Feb. 14

"The kids were like, 'I'm getting up at 5:00 a.m. with you. We're going, period.' And we got there early. And it's funny because one kid sat with a blanket over them for three hours and the other kids were just waiting at the rail. Everything started out great. Players came and high-fived them, the kids had the greatest time ever, and then—"

Related: This Kansas City Father and Son Thank Taylor Swift for Getting Entire Family 'Involved in the Game' (Exclusive)

<p>Courtesy Michael Nigro</p> Finn, Haley and Sawyer waiting for the Chiefs parade to start on the morning of Feb. 14.

Courtesy Michael Nigro

Finn, Haley and Sawyer waiting for the Chiefs parade to start on the morning of Feb. 14.

Because they had the kids with them this year, Mike and his son had serendipitously decided to watch the parade near 11th and Grand Avenue at the top of the route, to avoid “the millions of people” down near Union Station.

For that reason, the entire family was already in the car headed home by the time the gun fire started.

Related: Kansas City Chiefs Parade Shooting Was 'Dispute Between Several People' and Not 'Terrorism': Police

Michael’s sister, Kala, 35, trusted her brother and her father implicitly to watch over her children Sawyer and Finn at the parade, but that doesn't mean hearing the news for the first time on TV was any less frightening.

“My brother and Dad took my kids because I had to work. And I had just gotten really busy and that [news break] came on live, and then my phone started blowing up," Kala recalls. "Everyone texted me, 'Are the kids okay? Are the kids okay?' And I'm like, 'What is going on?' "

Related: Teen at Chiefs Parade Shooting Reveals How Coach Andy Reid Comforted Him: 'He Was Hugging Me'

"But I felt better because I knew that they weren't staying there. I knew that they had my kids, they were probably already at the house, but it was scary," Kala admits. "I had my daughter's phone on me and a whole bunch of her friends from school were texting her, asking her if she was okay. And I'm like, ‘They're 10 years old. That is just sad.’ ”

After the fact, Michael was integral to helping his family come to terms with the tragedy. They continue to try and focus on the good.

"Dad was hurting. And I told him, 'We're not going to live in fear. All right?' This is two [perpetrators] who are not going to ruin it for the 10 million that are celebrating.' And it's awful. I hate it. And we pray for the victims. It's just awful. But we're not going to live in fear," insists Michael. "They're not going to win."

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Read the original article on People.