Sheriff’s department: Arrest in SC State Fair shooting could come soon – The State

The S.C. State Fair was set to open at noon Sunday, while the sheriff’s department said an arrest soon in a shooting incident there Saturday night.

A 15-year-old teen was shot just before 8:30 p.m. at the fair. He was reported to be in stable condition Sunday, a Richland County Sheriff’s Department spokesman said. The extent of his injuries was not known.

Sheriff Leon Lott would not identify the teenager late Saturday or be specific about where he was shot or why.

Lott said Saturday, however, that the shooting was not gang related. Lott also rejected a report of a gang fight Friday at the fair that could have led to a Saturday confrontation.

“Preliminary investigations hasn’t revealed that this had anything to do with a gang incident,” Lott said about 9:25 p.m. Saturday. “There was no previous gang fight.

“There was a shot, and he was hit,” he said of the teenager.

The teen was taken to a local hospital, Richland County Sheriff’s spokesman Curtis Wilson said.

Deputies had not found the gun as of just after 9 p.m.

The fair closed its admission gates for the night but continued to operate the midway, State Fair management said in a new release. Admission gates will reopen at noon Sunday, as usual, for the fair’s last day.

“Nobody was in danger at the fair,” Lott said. “The fair will operate as normal tomorrow.”

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 Glen Luke Flanagan contributed.

SC State Fair’s youth entrance policy

▪ All youth under the age of 18 are required to be accompanied by a parent, age 21+, to be admitted after 6 p.m.

▪ Anyone 18 and over may be asked to show a valid driver’s license to be admitted without a parent after 6 p.m.

▪ Anyone 18 and over without a valid driver’s license and not accompanied by a parent will not be admitted after 6 p.m.

▪ People wearing clothing or jewelry which the fair’s management deems offensive or gang-related will not be permitted to enter.