Law enforcement presence at the Central States Fairgrounds liked by some

The Early evening news on KOTA Territory TV
Published: Aug. 22, 2022 at 6:52 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Multiple gunshots rang out just after the Central States Fairgrounds closed early Sunday morning. People fled for their cars or other safe areas, unsure of where the shots were fired from.

The Pennington County Sheriff’s Office has a command center on site of the fairgrounds and patrols the area with up to 20 officers at a time. A sheriff’s office release says deputies were nearby to investigate.

After people took the matter to social media, some decided they were not going to attend the family-friendly event and others said they will adjust the times they attend.

For one food vendor at the fair, they see the law enforcement presence as a positive. “I think it’s good, I think it’s very good. I’ve...we’ve, I mean 17 years really, and if that’s the first issue and that was even outside the fair. Sure, it keeps everything in control, with just them being here, their presence,” said Bill Robins, owner of Curly Fries.

However, the startling event comes as the city saw two other weekend shootings that ended in deaths. But the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office says being at the Central States Fairgrounds is a major benefit for situations like the one Sunday.

“We had deputies actually in that area that responded immediately and followed it up with some investigation, talking with witnesses and people in the area,” explained Sergeant Scott Sitzes, with the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office. Sitzes said that deputies are present every day and are spread throughout the fairgrounds.

The sergeant said the investigation for the gunshots near the fairgrounds is still under investigation.