The Minnesota State Fair was forced to close early after a fight in the Midway area on Saturday night resulted in a shooting. This caused a general panic and a disorderly crowd exodus from the area.
Officers responded to a gunshot shortly after 10 p.m. on Saturday near the intersection of Carnes Avenue and Liggett when the area was “heavily populated with fair guests and a large contingent of law enforcement,” according to a statement from the Minnesota State Fair Police Department released early on Sunday.
According to the statement, paramedics transported a victim to the hospital when officers subsequently discovered a victim with non-life-threatening injuries. The inquiry is being supported by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.
Witnesses reported seeing several people fighting in close proximity to the Midway, with police intervening immediately to break it up.
Ali Jo claims to have been in Cafe Caribe when she overheard a ruckus and noticed a group of three or four persons fighting. She became aware of her eyes burning as others began to flee. Although an officer later assured her it was pepper spray, she still thinks it was tear gas.
Everyone was covering their noses and mouths with their shirts and jackets as a fog covered the crossroads, she told the media.
“People were fleeing, there was a shift, and then they just started booking out of there. Everything happened so quickly. I was only aware of wanting to leave the area “Added she.
A fairgoer who declined to give an on-camera interview to the media claimed to have heard three gunshots. She captured the frantic moments as she and her pals fled on her phone.
Just before 11 p.m., The State Fair sent an update informing “Due to disturbances near the Midway, the fairgrounds began to close early this evening at around 10:20 p.m. At this moment, nothing else can be confirmed.”
The governor of Minnesota, Tim Walz, thanked law enforcement on Twitter for their assistance.