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A night of family and fun turned into chaos Saturday night at the Oklahoma State Fair in Oklahoma City as police responded to a shooting.
Police say a fight broke out between a group of young people. OKC police Lt. Jeff Cooper told reporters one person was shot in the chest, and at least one teen has been arrested.
“We did get two people into custody right now. We’re trying to determine their involvement. OKC Police Captain Valerie Littlejohn told reporters during a press conference after the shooting. “It is believed one of those is the shooter.”
Videos obtained by News 9’s Storme Jones showed a crowd of people running as a shot rings out inside the Bennett Event Center. The victim was transported to the hospital in critical condition.
Oklahoma State Fair shooting follows Choctaw shooting
While police say the shooting was an isolated incident, it sparked visible fear among hundreds in attendance.
The Oklahoma City State Fair shooting comes after a previous shooting at a high school football game in Choctaw in August.
Police arrested and charged 15-year-old Dayvion Hamilton with first-degree murder after a dispute led to the shooting of two teens. Cordea Carter, 16, died from his wounds on the way to the hospital. Another wounded teen survived.
A third victim, 43-year-old Demetrize Carter, was also shot by an off-duty Del City police officer. He reportedly mistook Carter’s cell phone for a gun. Carter was severely wounded, and his attorney sent a letter to the Oklahoma District Attorney urging her to file charges against the officer, according to KFOR’s Ashley Moss.
“He was breaking up this fight when an officer approached him. He put his hands up and he even said the words, ‘don’t shoot,’” Carter’s attorney Billy Clark said.
Finding policy and peace to address gun violence
The Oklahoma State Fair shooting also comes a day after a major announcement on the federal level.
On Friday, President Joe Biden held a ceremony at the Rose Garden outside the White House to announce the creation of the nation’s first federal Office of Gun Violence Prevention.
Biden tapped Harris to oversee the installation of the new office. It will focus on finding new and creative policies to address America’s gun violence crisis.
Since January, the U.S has experienced more than 31,000 gun-related deaths. The country also experienced over 500 mass shootings, according to the Gun Violence Archive.
On the local level, efforts by Oklahoma Democrats to pass gun reform legislation have stalled in the legislature. The SAVE Act would repeal anti-red flag laws, repeal permit less carry, and repeal concealed carry in public parks and zoos.
Yet Republicans hold a super majority in both chambers and remain opposed to gun reform.
The political gridlock hasn’t stopped community leaders from seeking their own solutions.
Last summer, local rapper, entrepreneur and activist Jabee Williams teamed up with Ward 7 City Councilor Nikki Nice to organize the OKC Peace Summit.
“The city faces an amplified problem of violence every summer and we have an opportunity to come together to find solutions and build peace,” event host Pastor Jon Middendorf said.
It’s unclear whether police will share the identity of the teenager taken into custody for the Oklahoma State Fair shooting.
Follow The Black Wall Street Times for updates.