One of the most popular tourist events in Minnesota came to a chaotic close Monday night, just a day after setting an attendance record.
Police were investigating a serious pedestrian crash outside the main gates of the Minnesota State Fair when bullets began flying near the scene, setting off panic as crowds of people were leaving the event.
The 19-year-old woman who was struck by a car was in critical condition Tuesday, but three gunshot victims have been treated and will survive, according to the Saint Paul Police Department.
Authorities said they rushed to the venue, which is located between Minneapolis and St. Paul, shortly after 10 p.m. for the pedestrian accident. When cops arrived, they found “a chaotic scene” around the “gravely injured” and unresponsive woman, police said.
Officers then learned there had been a fight just before the crash and that the driver who hit the pedestrian initially stopped, but he apparently left the area after bystanders began kicking and hitting his car, police said in a news release.
We are investigating a pedestrian crash and shooting that occurred outside of the main gate of the Minnesota State Fair. One person confirmed shot, condition unknown at this time.
The driver pulled over a short distance away, called 911 to report the accident and has been cooperating with police, who don’t believe he was impaired, according to the release.
While investigating the fight and crash, officers heard several gunshots just a block south of the scene. Police said they ran toward the gunfire and found a man who was struck by at least one bullet. He was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Two other gunshot victims turned up at different hospitals later that night and were expected to recover from their injuries, police said.
As of Tuesday morning, no arrests had been made.
Police also did not identify the victims, but local station KTSP said the people who were shot were all men and one of them is 20 years old.
The chaos came a day after the annual fair, which is also known as the “Great Minnesota Get-Together,” reported a single-day attendance record of 245,000 people. The event typically attracts more than two million guests in the 12 days leading up to Labor Day, according to the organization’s website.
Police urged anyone with information about the shooting to contact them immediately. St. Paul police spokesman Steve Linders said the incident could’ve left numerous more victims.
“Everybody was put at risk,” he told KTSP. “This is incredibly concerning … It’s shockingly brazen. Audacious isn’t even a strong enough word.”
Shortly before the chaos outside the fair, police were investigating the city’s 15th homicide of the year. Authorities said the victim, who was shot at least once in the abdomen, was found inside a home a few miles from the fair around 8:30 p.m.