SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – A local teen was critically injured Saturday night after being shot at the State Fair of Louisiana.
Around 9:15 p.m. Saturday, Shreveport Police responded to reports of a shooting on the north side of Hirsch Memorial Coliseum, near the State Fair’s Agricultural Center on Pershing Boulevard.
When officers arrived, they found the youth suffering from a gunshot wound to the stomach. Shreveport Fired Department emergency personnel rushed the victim to Ochsner LSU Health Hospital, where he was immediately taken into surgery.
Following the shooting, Fair attendees were evacuated and the Fair closed for the night.
Shreveport City Councilman Jerry Boman was at the scene after a family member who was at the Fair called him.
Bowman said when he arrived he could hear yelling and screaming. “People were afraid,” Bowman said. “And I’m afraid for them now.”
Quinterrian White, 19, who witnessed the incident, described what he saw happen: “There were a lot of teenagers just like throwing up gang signs, and they were like all on one side. And then like on the other side, there were other teenagers throwing up gang signs. And I guess they were like against each other. So they started running up to each other, start to fight and we were just like looking and then all of a sudden we heard like one gunshot and first instinct was just run towards the nearest exit.”
In October, Chris Giordano, president/general manager of the State Fair, said security was the top priority in planning this year’s event, and $250,000 had been spent on security in order to make the Fair safe. At the time, he said, “There’s a lot of quality family entertainment involved in the State Fair, and if your mission is to cause problems, we ask you to stay home.
An obviously shaken White expressed his angst, saying that most of those involved in the fight were not adults, but instead were children, “most of them were like 13, maybe 16-years old.”
Bowman mused that his 5-year-old said he wanted to come to the Fair. “I was like, ‘Sure, why not?'” But as he reflected on the shooting, he said, “Now, it’s a second guess.
A woman on Twitter said that a boy beside her and her son was the one who was shot.
The State Fair has an average yearly attendance of from 450,000-750,00. This year’s fair opened Oct. 28 and will run through Nov. 14.