Security procedures normal at SC State Fair the day after shooting – WIS

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

While Richland County Sheriff’s deputies say they have identified possible suspects in the shooting of a 15-year-old at the South Carolina State Fair, security procedures were normal on the last day of the annual event.

Richland County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Sgt. Kevin Lawrence said the shooting happened around 8:20 p.m. Saturday inside the State Fairgrounds. Deputies sent a Tweet Sunday morning the teen’s condition is stable. 

Richland County Sheriff’s deputies established a crime scene inside the gate near the Bluff Road side of the Midway where the teen was found lying on the ground. The teen was hit in the lower body and rushed from the fair to a nearby hospital. 

Sheriff Leon Lott says the shooting was not gang-related.

The South Carolina State Fair board met Sunday morning to discuss the incident and address how to proceed with the event Sunday, the fair’s last day. 

“It was just an unfortunate incident,” General Manager Gary Goodman said. Security personnel check bags of people entering the fair and guests have to pass through metal detectors.

“Everyone that comes through goes through metal detectors and is wanded,” he said. “We have had no instances like this ever all I can say it’s just one of those things where somehow they got a gun in here and we don’t know how yet.”

“We get bucket loads of knives that we confiscate, mace, things like that,” he said. 

Goodman said the gates were closed Saturday night and no one was allowed to enter the fair after the shooting occurred. No one inside the fair at the time of the incident was asked to leave.

As for the final day Sunday, Goodman said the fair did not change any of its security measures in response to the incident. Responding to dozens of posts on social media from people claiming they did not go through a security check as they entered the fair, Goodman said, “We do not turn those metal detectors off. Everyone is checked.”

When asked how safe the fair is for guests, he said, “As safe as we can possibly make it.”

Fair policy requires that all attendees under the age of 18 be accompanied by a parent after 6 p.m.

One of the last reported shootings near the fair was in 2004. The shooting occurred outside the fairgrounds, not within the fair gates.

Goodman says each year the fair committee meets with the Richland County Sheriff’s Department to discuss how security can be improved.

Anyone with any information on the shooting is encouraged to call Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.

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