SALEM, Va. (WDBJ) - A night that was supposed to be full of family fun ended abruptly when two people were shot at the Salem Fair Wednesday night.
Mindy Fausey and her family were in line for one of the rides at the Salem Fair when a severe weather announcement went out over the PA system.
“All guests to seek shelter,” the loud voice announced.
“We walked back to the civic center where the juggling guy was performing, so we sat down there,” Fausey said.
During the act, the crowds started running inside.
“The juggling guy looked over and said, ‘oh guys, it’s just raining,’” she said.
However, it wasn’t the rain.
“Everyone was sort of panicked. And we knew there was something more than that. Then someone walked by and said someone’s shooting,” Fausey said.
Toward the back of the fair, someone fired gunshots into the crowd, injuring two people. Vendors WDBJ7 spoke with described what they saw.
“We look up, we were selling a few t-shirts, and then the next thing we saw was a stampede of humans,” one of the vendors said. “Just stampede. Everyone was kind of panicked.”
“We didn’t know what was going on,” his friend added.
“We didn’t hear any shots whatsoever,” said the first guy. “Which is kind of unusual. We have trained ears for that.”
Both men are Marine and Army veterans who jumped in to help fair-goers.
“There was a woman who was looking for her kids,” one of them said. “And she was panicked because they were right in front of where it happened. They witnessed it. And we told her, hey, come over here and chill. It’s okay. We have a camping chair. Just go ahead and calm down.”
Like most people, they really didn’t know what had happened until several hours later.
“All we started hearing was screaming and running, so the screams may have covered the shots fired. We don’t know what happened. All we know is something did happen.”
Police later sent a press release confirming two people had been injured. Both were taken to a hospital, one with serious injuries and the other with non-life-threatening injuries.
We’ve also learned the alleged shooter is under the age of 16 and was quickly taken into police custody.
There is no word yet on a motive or what may have led to the shooting. Police are asking for any eyewitnesses to come forward and aid in the investigation.
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