COLUMBIA, S.C. — Richland County deputies have said that a juvenile has been arrested at the South Carolina State Fair after a fight that took place Saturday night.
Deputies say that the juvenile will be charged with disorderly conduct.
The juvenile was part of the fight that has been seen in viral videos, the fight took place 40 minutes prior to large groups of people running for exits after people said they heard gunfire.
Just after 10 p.m. people began calling the WLTX newsroom to say they'd seen a large group of people running for the exits and out of the grounds. Videos posted on social media also showed a portion of what happened.
"There's just no evidence to support this statement that there was gunfire at the fair," said Major Harry Polis with the Richland County Sheriff's Department. "We would have known.
Polis said a group of juveniles began running through the fair telling people that they'd seen a gun and that shots had been fired. That triggered a panic in the crowd, leading to a stampede of people where some people fell on the ground and were injured. Polis said several people were transported to the hospital from the fair for treatment, and it's his understanding they've been released.
"No one can be prepared for the amount of stampeding that took place last night," Polis said.
But he said after an investigation, they don't believe there were any actual shots fired.
State Fair General Manager Nancy Smith issued the following statement:
“Earlier tonight, The SC State Fair experienced young adults running through the grounds in waves, which created a disruption and understandably anxiety for our patrons.
“We have confirmed with several area law enforcement agencies that no shots were fired on the fairgrounds and, fortunately, no serious injuries occurred.
“Law enforcement was able to bring the situation under control in a timely manner and in an abundance of caution, we decided to close our Midway at 11 p.m.
"We searched and scoured the fair after the crowd had left," he said. "There were no shell casings, there was no indication that there had been an actual shooting."
"All of our deputies are exposed to gunfire as part of our training. We're very familiar with what gunfire sounds like. None of our deputies--and I asked many times last night, to be absolutely sure--heard gunfire at the fair."
"He said the agency is aware of a scuffle that happened in the fair, and a social media video of that fight that ended with what many online thought was one young male pointing a gun. However, deputies say it wasn't a weapon at all.
"We understand the social media reports that something totally different. We've seen the video of the individual who is pointing their finger. It's not a gun. We've had investigators look at the video. We are all confident that it is his hand."
The juvenile who was arrested is NOT the one who is pointing his finger.