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Authorities continue to search for answers in State Fair shooting

Minnesota State Fair Police Chief Ron Knafla said he hopes witness tips will help answer questions about the shooting Saturday night.

FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. — The Minnesota State Fair Police Department ramped up law enforcement presence for the final two days of the fair, following a shooting Saturday night.

Over the weekend, a man was shot, prompting an evacuation of the fairgrounds.

"Obviously it was chaotic, but some of those folks are starting to call in with information," said Minnesota State Fair Police Chief Ron Knafla. "We have no idea how that gun got in, but that's still part of the investigation."

For the most part, Knafla said his staff doesn't deal with violence.

"Primarily, we're dealing with lost kids, medicals, things like that," Knafla said.

Cameras help law enforcement with a number of issues across the fair, along with metal detectors. Last year was the first for metal detectors at the State Fair. Officers said, to their knowledge, metal detectors are working because they're catching prohibited items from coming through and deterring people from bringing items through in the first place.

"We're finding, in the planters out front, people are dumping larger knives, weapons, mace, stun guns. Things like that,” Knafla said. "Maybe they thought they could sneak through with them and, when they see the people ahead of them, getting their bags searched or pockets checked, they're thinking not a good idea to bring it in.”

Minnesota State Fair Police Officer Mark Jones showed KARE 11 a few items his team found after a quick search of the planters at Gate 5.

"It's possible it's a syringe cap that someone's used. Someone's personal pocket knife and flashlight, not really a concern to me, possibly a scale by measuring narcotics," Jones said, showing the objects.

Knafla’s said he hopes witness tips will help answer questions about the shooting Saturday night. He also stressed he believes the fair is, overall, a safe place for families.

"You know that was an isolated incident. The fair is probably the safest place you can be in Minnesota,” Knafla said.

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