INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Police have confiscated at least three 9 mm handguns — one had a 30-round extended magazine — after a shooting Saturday that injured one person at the Marion County Fair.
Late Saturday afternoon, a line of people waited to get into the fair. The fair had reached its attendance capacity due to social distancing requirements for the COVID-19 pandemic, and people watching the gate were only letting people in as others left. The crowd outside the gate grew restless and stormed the gate.
John Rhynes has lived across the street from the Marion County Fairgrounds for almost two decades. He has heard gunfire during the fair in the past, but this year was different.
“They do let off fireworks. Maybe this is just something they are letting off, and then very quickly, in rapid succession, we heard a whole bunch more. I would guess somewhere in the vicinity of 30-40 gunshots,” Rhynes said.
Donna Barnett and her husband sat in a swing in their front yard on Monday afternoon and watched workers dismantle the midway. The couple was home Saturday when violence and gunfire swept across the fairgrounds and sent people running for their lives, Barnett said. Kids were scattered everywhere, including their front yard.
“He looked outside, and there were three little girls next door, and they had got pepper sprayed in their eyes and they were looking for milk to wash their eyes out,” Barnett said.
Officer William Young, a spokesperson for the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, told News 8 that officers did confiscate guns and that several shots were fired.
“I do know there were multiple guns recovered there at the scene. What role those guns played, I’m not sure, but we did recover multiple firearms,” the officer said.
Police also said that from 100-150 people were gathered outside the entrance and some of them started fighting and that’s when the shots were fired. When the fighting stopped hundreds of kids were forced out of the fairgrounds and into the neighborhood across the street.
“We had hundreds of them reacting to what was going on over there at the fair, and they were all unaccompanied running around over here for a while, for a couple of hours it was pretty tense,” Rhynes said.
This incident has caught the attention of the fair board. Board members say they will not allow underage kids in the fair next year without an adult, according to Marion County Fair Board member Abdul Hakim-Shabazz, who is the author of the IndyPolitics.org blog.
“And you certainly cant have kids running wild around the Marion County Fairgrounds, particularly children with weapons as well,” Hakim-Shabazz said.
Police have not confirmed the age of the person shot or if that person also had a gun.