LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Kentucky State Police on Tuesday confirmed to WAVE 3 News that a shell casing from a gun was found following the chaos at the Kentucky State Fair on Saturday night.
Investigators said the evidence shows the threat went beyond a group of rowdy teens. They believe that the shot may have been fired to incite panic.
At first, KSP could only confirm there were witness reports of a single gunshot being fired in the air by a teen, but there was no mention of any evidence until Tuesday.
KSP also said it is investigating not only the gunshot, but also the individuals who they said were promoting panic by setting off firecrackers.
KSP explained the first calls came in as a possible active shooter. A spokesman said troopers and officers had that in mind when they responded to the situation.
“They are human beings,” KSP Sgt. Josh Lawson said. “They are going to react to that. They think that other people’s lives are being taken. The ultimate goal.”
As they searched for a gunman or for injured people, KSP investigators said they encountered teens who prevented them from doing their No. 1 job: keeping people safe.
“You have teenagers that are in their way, fighting, not getting out of the way, not responding to orders,” Lawson said.
Lawson said teen fights broke out and at times the crowd outnumbered the officers.
“When you have several times the number of officers that you have surrounding you, who seem like they want to fight you, they want to disrupt you, they want to do what they can to hurt you, it’s a very different situation than the situation you’re in when you’re watching that video the next day,” Lawson said.
Lawson was referring to situations seen in some of the videos that circulated on social media Sunday, like when someone is heard yelling that if they all jump the officer, he would “be done.”
Lawson said this isn’t the first time they’ve had issues with teens at the Kentucky State Fair.
“Throwing things at troopers, throwing bottles at them,” he said. “Just inciting them, trying to get them to come and arrest them then running off into the crowd.”
The ordeal began around 10 p.m. and lasted until at least 11:30 p.m., when fair officials decided to close the event a half hour early.
Even more troopers will be at the fair Saturday.
Lawson also shared a warning.
“If you come to the fair for the explicit purpose of causing panic, alarm, or injury to anybody that’s here, we will take the appropriate steps necessary to stop that from happening, and I don’t think anybody wants that to happen,” he said.
KSP arrested two adults and cited seven juveniles. Of the seven juveniles, KSP said none of their parents were actually at the fair.