There were reports of a possible active shooter at the Kentucky State Fair, which caused locals to quickly exit the area, and post to Facebook and Twitter about hearing gunshots. However, the Kentucky State Troopers said that there was no active shooter, and reassured the public that everyone was safe.
Causing the initial pandemonium and scare in Louisville, a couple juveniles decided to set off fireworks started running and yelled “shooter!” WLKY reporter Carolyn Callahan tweeted, “FOR THOSE ASKING ABOUT THE FAIR: Kentucky State Police troopers tell us a group of kids were running around yelling “shooter” at the fair tonight. This caused a lot of people to worry, but police say there was NO shooter.”
Callahan followed the tweet up with a message that showcased how not funny this type of situation was for those at the Kentucky State Fair saying, “Y’all. I just got a panicked phone call from a mom who ran out of the Kentucky State Fair with her children because she heard there was a shooter. KSP says NO SHOOTER. A group of kids yelled “shooter” but it was not true.” Aaron Ellis from Wave3 also confirmed that there was no shooter at the Kentucky State Fair.
The Kentucky State Fair is an annual 10 day event which takes place at the Kentucky Expo Center, a local celebration which includes live music entertainment, cooking demonstrations, and amusement park rides. While locals should be able to to expect nothing but wholesome fun while attending the fair with their family and friends, considering the news of the recent back-to-back shootings in Dayton and El Paso, it’s understandable that citizens in crowded places are on edge.
It was only three weeks ago that there was a mass shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in California. On July 31, a shooter, later identified as Santino William Legan, shot and killed three people, including 6-year-old Stephen Romero, and left 15 injured. Gilroy Police killed suspected shooter, and said he was armed with an “SKS AK-47-type assault rifle” that was “purchased legally” by Legan in Nevada. Police Chief Scot Smithee said Sunday night that Legan “used a tool to cut through a fence to gain access” to the festival grounds.
With mass shootings are tragically happening so often, it’s an important reminder that falsely yelling “shooter” in a crowded area is unacceptable behavior, and could’ve caused serious damage and injuries to those attending the Kentucky State Fair on Saturday night.
The Reaction Online Switched From Fear to Anger
While it was a relief to discover no one’s life at the Kentucky State Fair was in danger, the mood online quickly shifted for fear turned to anger. Users on Twitter compared this incident to yelling “fire” in a theater, found no part of it remotely funny, and suffice to say, did not appreciate the kids’ hoax.