UPDATE: Shattering glass mistaken for gunfire at state fair Friday night

What sounded like gunfire was man's fist breaking window, ISP says

The Iowa State Fairgrounds administration building was the scene of a disagreement Friday night. Photo courtesy Blue Ribbon Foundation

The Iowa State Patrol, which provides security at the Iowa State Fair, was dispatched shortly before midnight Friday on a report that a gunman fired a shot through the door of the Varied Industries Building on the fairgrounds.

“There actually were no shots fired. He used his fist,” Iowa State Patrol Sgt. John Skaar said Saturday afternoon. “It was just the sound of the glass.”

Skaar said the incident occurred when a man tried to enter the fairgrounds’ administration building.

“They wouldn’t let him in,” Skaar said. “The admin building is locked and is not for public use, and he wanted to use the bathroom. When they told him he couldn’t, he punched the window.”

The sound of the shattering window was mistaken for the sound of gunfire by the initial caller. There were no injuries in the incident, Skaar said, and two men were arrested at the scene.

“They ended up getting charged with public intoxication and criminal mischief and enjoyed the Polk County Jail for the evening,” the state trooper said.

Gun-rights advocates and some Iowa lawmakers want to repeal the ban on guns at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.
Gun-rights advocates and some Iowa lawmakers want to repeal the ban on guns at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.

Guns are currently banned from the Iowa State Fairgrounds, but gun-rights advocates and some Iowa lawmakers are fighting for the right of licensed concealed-carry owners to bear at the fair.

Iowa Gov. Terry E. Branstad urged gun-owning fair goers Monday to leave their firearms at home and rely on the Iowa State Patrol for fairground security.

The Iowa State Fair runs through Sunday, Aug. 21.

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