SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) – The Sarasota Police Department is investigating after an 18-year-old was shot at the county fairgrounds, police say.
According to the police department, the shooting took place just after 10 p.m. Police say preliminary information suggests that one person pulled out a gun and shot an 18-year-old male.
The victim was transported to Sarasota Memorial Hospital with serious injuries. He was in stable condition Sunday morning after surgery.
The police department said its detectives believe the shooter and victim know each other, and this was never a random, active shooter situation.
The shooter is not yet in custody, so the police department is requesting anyone with information about the incident to call 941-263-6070.
“Evacuate, evacuate, shots fired.”
Lisa Moore was selling tickets at one of the gates when she heard over her radio about the shooting.
“The guy kept saying evacuate, evacuate, shots fired,” Moore said. “It was chaos, people were running over each other parents were looking for their kids, screaming and crying.”
A spokeswoman with the Sarasota Police Department says the department will be increasing security and patrols in partnership and in addition to the private contractors that the fair already has.
President/CEO of the Sarasota Fair Rory Martin sent this statement to 8 On Your Side Sunday:
Late Saturday night, an altercation between two individuals resulted in one person shot with non-life threatening injuries. The Sarasota Police Department quickly responded and professionally de-escalated the situation.
The Sarasota Police Department, the City of Sarasota, and the Sarasota County Fair are working together to provide a safe environment for fair attendees. Enhanced security protocols and staffing are being implemented to supplement existing levels.
We thank the Sarasota Police Department, TRVST Security, Sarasota County Fire Department, Sarasota Sheriff’s Department, and ARC Security Solutions for their response and professionalism during this difficult event.
The Fair will open as scheduled.
The Sarasota County Fair opened to the public Friday and will run until March 28.