MAGNOLIA, Ark. (KTVE/KARD)–Columbia County Fair & Livestock officials are ensuring a safe event for the 85th annual fair, following last year’s shooting on its final day.
“We have metal detectors in place at every entrance. We have a lot of auxiliary cops in place. It will be a lot of security,” explains Fair Manager Kayle Whiddon.
Fair officials want people to enjoy the fair atmosphere and not worry about their safety. Whiddon hopes the board’s decision to heighten safety measures will make residents feel more at ease.
“Well last year, it happened and we didn’t expect it. I think that this year, the community knows it’s going to be a little safer. We can’t protect everything, things are still going to happen however, we can be as prepared as we can.”
No one was injured in the shooting on September 25, 2021, but the gunfire resulted in a surge for the exit and early closure of the fair.
Jaqualin Young, 21 at the time of the shooting, was charged four days after the shooting with attempted second-degree murder, 10 counts of aggravated assault, and one count of first-degree endangering the welfare of a minor. He was later released on a $350,000 bond.
Young has had several court appearances since the shooting. Young’s next court appearance is set for October 6.