MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — After the Greater Gulf State Fair closed abruptly Saturday night due to what officials are calling “disruptive behavior,” many took to social media to recount the moments that led up to the early shutdown.
“This is probably the first time that we’ve experienced that,” Executive Director of the Fairgrounds Josh Woods said of the early shutdown.
Concerns surrounding the fair’s security and whether or not a gun made its way into the grounds were among theories speculated on social media.
Woods and the Mobile Police Department (MPD) said no shooting occurred, but some of the attendees tell conflicting stories of what happened Saturday night.
Victoria Reno was at the fair Saturday night with her four-month-old and 12-year-old son and her son’s friend. Her son and his friend getting ready to get on a ride until she heard what she said sounded like a gunshot.
“Just by some odd chance, they were the next ones that were about to go through the gate to be let into the ride,” Reno said. “So, they’re both standing there, and I hear what sounds like a shot. And I’m like … What was that? And then I heard two more.”
However, other fairgoers like Taylor Mosley went to the fair with her friends and said that was not the case.
“I didn’t believe it at first because I didn’t hear a gunshot,” Mosley said. “So, I was like, okay, let’s wait it out. But then the second time when people started running, they started shutting down all the rides. The cops were going around. And so, we were like, I think it’s time to leave.”
Even though some fairgoers claim that a gun was fired, Woods still reiterated that a gun did not reach the fairgrounds.
“Despite what social media says, there was not an incident on the midway as far as a gun is concerned,” Woods said. “And moving forward, I will tell you that if you’re coming to the Greater Gulf State fair to cause trouble and fight with your friends, we’re not going to have that.”
As Woods and MPD reaffirm the original information they provided about the incident, Reno said she remains skeptical of what they said.
“You should also be more transparent with your citizens,” Reno said. “We were like ‘Hmm. No. We were there.’ We were all there and then just discredit us. Anyways, I don’t think we’re all wrong, you know? And that’s what’s so, so sad about it. I don’t think we’re wrong. And the police department does not want to validate what any of us have said.”
WKRG News 5 reached back out to MPD and asked if further investigation will continue on Saturday’s incident but have not heard back at the time of this publication.