Investigators have developed suspects in a Saturday night shooting that injured a 15-year-old, as the S.C. State Fair opened Sunday for its final day.
The Richland County Sheriff’s Department released no additional information Sunday afternoon about the incident on the Midway, which happened just before 8:30 p.m. Saturday night. Spokesman Lt. Curtis Wilson said the teenager was in stable condition Sunday, after being shot in the lower body.
The Richland County Sheriff’s Department released no additional information Sunday afternoon about the incident on the Midway, which happened just before 8:30 p.m. Saturday night.
As of Sunday evening, Wilson said there was no new information to provide to The State, but said, “significant leads are being followed up.”
Sheriff Leon Lott said Saturday the shooting was not gang-related. He rejected a report of a gang fight Friday at the fair that could have led to a Saturday confrontation.
Gary Goodman, the fair’s manager, said while no additional security was added for Sunday’s run, people were still going through metal detectors and having bags checked at the entrance, as is standard procedure.
Still, some patrons were concerned.
This is a place where you’re supposed to have fun, not a place where stuff like that should happen.”
Kenedi McLeod, Columbia resident
“This is a place where you’re supposed to have fun, not a place where stuff like that should happen,” said Columbia resident Kenedi McLeod, who visited the fair Sunday with her mother and younger sisters.
Lexington resident Debbie Corbett came out to spend time with her grandchildren, but said she thought fair safety measures were lax.
“My daughter went through, and (the metal detector) made a noise, and she came back through and she said, ‘Think it’s my boots?’ But they (security personnel) don’t make you take your boots off or anything,” Corbett said.
Goodman said Sunday it was not clear how the gun got into the fair.
All I can say is the federal government has a lot more assets than we do and people are still getting on planes with guns. There’s no perfect system.
Gary Goodman, fair manager
“All I can say is the federal government has a lot more assets than we do and people are still getting on planes with guns,” Goodman said. “There’s no perfect system.”
Goodman said the fair has not confiscated a gun at the entrance gate in his memory, though knives and other hand weapons have been found.
After Saturday’s shooting, Lott did not give specifics about where the teen was shot or why.
“There was a shot, and he was hit,” he said of the teenager.
The fair closed its admission gates for the night after the incident but continued to operate the midway, fair officials said.
Saturday’s shooting is believed to be the first at the fair since 2004. Then, three teens were injured after someone fired into a crowd in what law enforcement, without elaborating, said was a gang-related incident. One of the teens, Robert Lee Morris Jr., died several days later. He was 14.
The fair since has installed metal detectors at its gates. Bags are searched at the gates. Security cameras are in use across the grounds. And a youth admission police requires all fairgoers under 18 to be accompanied by a parent after 6 p.m.
Staff writers Rachael Lowe and Clif LeBlanc contributed.