Tri-State Fair increasing security measures after shooting
AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - The Tri-State Fair has confirmed they will be increasing security for the rest of the fair after a shooting.
The Tri-State Fair says they don’t want to let the shooting discourage people from attending the fair.
“We’re not going to let this one specific incident take the fair from this community,” says Brady Ragland, CEO, Tri-State Faire Exposition. “This is a community event.”
According to the Potter County Sheriff’s Office, a man opened fire on two deputies working off duty around 11:00 p.m. Monday night.
Potter County Sheriff Brian Thomas says a fight happened between two people and it escalated, leading to one young man running away and causing a chase to begin with officers.
The young man then opened fire at the officers with one deputy returning fire and wounding the suspect.
“It’s been placed out there that this was a mass shooting,” says Thomas. “It was not a mass shooting. This was not a mass shooting.”
The suspect is in the hospital in critical condition.
A deputy, a bystander and a firefighter were taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Thomas confirmed the deputy and fireman are doing well today.
A witness who said they were nearby when the shooting happened described it as “pure chaos.” They also said multiple vehicles in the area were hit by bullets.
Ragland and Thomas say security is planned year round in preparation for the fair and security is the fairs number one priority.
“Moving forward, we’re going to do whatever we can to make these places safe, as safe as we can,” says Thomas. “We’re going to beef up some stuff around here tonight and for the rest of the week. Just to make it safe. We want people to come out and have a good time.”
Several agencies come to work the fair including Potter County Sheriff’s Office, Amarillo Police Department, Randall County Sheriff’s Office, and the Texas Department of Public Safety.
“If the sheriff’s department needs more help, we’ll send it either on a moments notice or in a planned manner,” says Martin Birkenfeld, Chief of Police, APD. “We’re always ready to support the sheriff’s department in keeping us safe.”
The fair’s security team says they were prepared for the incident.
“As evidence by how quickly the responders were able to get to the situation last night only enforced that we do have procedures in place that do work,” says Ragland. “My hat’s off to our first responders and we’re thankful that we had them on the scene so quickly.”
For the remainder of the fair, there will be additional security in place including a security presence at the gates and around the grounds.
They will be implementing a wanding procedure at each entrance gate, and the clear bag policy is still in place.
Ragland says that the additional security measures are a direct result of the incident.
“We are confident that we are putting measures in place as a result of the situation with the law enforcement guidance to give us a great security presence and keeping things safe is our number one mission,” says Ragland. “It will be something that we heavily talk about after the fair and preparing for next year.”
The incident is under investigation by the Texas Rangers. DPS officials say the Texas Rangers will not release any new information today.
The fair will be closed until 4:00 p.m. Tuesday. All normal operating hours will resume at that time.
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