Fairgoers will see an increased law enforcement presence at the Minnesota State Fair on Sunday after a shooting Saturday night near the Midway left one person wounded, officials said.
A gunshot was reported shortly after 10 p.m. near the intersection of Carnes Avenue and Liggett Street, near the entrance to the Midway, fair officials said. A victim was taken to a hospital with a gunshot wound to the leg.
The fair began closing about 10:20 p.m., a spokesperson said.
When the gunshot was fired, about a dozen officers were within 15 to 20 feet of where the shot went off, Minnesota State Fair Police Chief Ron Knafla said during a news conference Sunday morning.
“I think the important thing to note the law enforcement officers that responded, and were part of the State Fair Police Department, the Minnesota State Patrol, did an outstanding job controlling a very, very chaotic scene,” he said. “And I can’t say enough good things about the job they did last night.”
The victim was shot once in the leg, Knafla said. The gunman has not been apprehended, he said. Officials said the victim was the shooter’s target and not a bystander.
John Harrington, state commissioner of public safety, said the State Patrol would double its presence at the fair for the remainder of the fair, which ends Monday. Harrington said officials did not know how the gun got into the fairgrounds.
“You can expect to see a very robust police presence today,” Harrington said. “I am confident that once again, we are tracking this the right way. That in fact, the fact that we were so close to those people in that crowd is why we did not have further violence.”
Gov. Tim Walz thanked the law enforcement officers who responded to the shooting. Even though many officers and there was hundreds of people around, Walz said the suspect still fired a gun.
“There needs to be incredible harsh consequences for that,” he said. “I’m just grateful that we got no one seriously injured in this, that the individuals involved knew each other apparently and were in conflict on that.”
The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is taking the lead on the investigation.