St. Paul police responded to separate incidents of gunfire both Saturday and Sunday nights just outside the Minnesota State Fair grounds. In one incident, a fairgoer was reportedly struck by an errant bullet. In another incident, a University of Minnesota bus was struck by gunfire that shattered a window.
About 10:13 p.m. Saturday, a person inside the fairgrounds called 911 to report that they had been shot at, according to dispatch audio at the time. The person who was reported to be at Chambers Street and Carnes Avenue said the bullet struck him, but the bullet did not make penetration.
Police found the victim and aired that they found the actual bullet. Police said it appeared the victim had been struck by a “ricocheting” bullet. The victim was not reported to be injured.
Just prior to the shooting report, at 10:05 p.m., St. Paul police reported that they heard shots fired just east of the fairgrounds. Casings were ultimately found at Arona Street and Canfield Avenue, and police said a Jeep had been shot at by a black male. There were no injury reports from the intended target at the time.
A St. Paul police spokesperson confirmed to Alpha News that the two incidents, the person shot on the fairgrounds and the gunfire nearby, were being investigated as possibly related.
About an hour later, Minneapolis police responded to a report of a vehicle in the Cedar-Riverside area of downtown Minneapolis that had bullet damage. The driver told police the bullet damage had occurred in the gunfire incident outside the fairgrounds.
On Sunday night just after 11 p.m., St. Paul police responded to a report of multiple shots fired near Burford Avenue and Cleveland Avenue North and the sound of vehicles speeding away. As police were responding, a report came in from the University of Minnesota St. Paul campus saying that a bus had been shot at and that U of M police were handling the situation. The suspects were later described as Somali males in a white sedan.
About 11:25 p.m., police aired that they were chasing a Somali male with a gun who was wearing a “traditional dress” and head wrap and fled from a vehicle in the area of Chelmsford Street and Carter Avenue, just west of the St. Paul campus. Audio indicated that police may have detained others from the vehicle. A search ensued until after midnight when it was called off without the fleeing suspect in custody at the time.
It wasn’t immediately clear whether the search for the armed suspect was related to the shots fired on the St. Paul U of M campus.
The U of M later issued a safety alert about the shots fired on the St. Paul campus and confirmed that a U of M bus had been shot at and sustained a shattered window.
Other incidents reported on the fairgrounds throughout the event included disturbances, fights, and fence jumpers.
#MNstatefair – Chemical irritant deployed at Gate 5 for a large fight
— CrimeWatchMpls (@CrimeWatchMpls) September 5, 2023
Last Wednesday, Black Lives Matter held a protest outside the main gate and blocked traffic for a couple of hours.
— CrimeWatchMpls (@CrimeWatchMpls) August 31, 2023
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