Walz presses for tougher sentences, more funding following State Fair gunfire

Yellow police tape tied to a post
A small piece of police tape early Sunday morning. One person was shot near the Minnesota State Fair entrance near Como Avenue Monday as the fair wrapped up its 12-day run, and following a shooting on Saturday that sent one to the hospital.
Brian Bakst | MPR News file

Updated: 11:18 a.m.

Gov. Tim Walz on Tuesday called for lawmakers to back more public safety spending and tougher sentences for criminals after one person was shot just outside the Minnesota State Fair on Monday, two days after a person was shot at the fair’s Mighty Midway entrance.

Walz said Monday night’s victim was discharged from the hospital with minor injuries and that police have a suspect in the shooting, which took place near Como and Snelling avenues just outside the fairgrounds.

Saturday’s gunfire closed the fair more than an hour before its scheduled closing time that night when police officers in the area heard a shot and found someone with a non-life-threatening injury.

Walz called on judges to issue harsher penalties for those involved in shootings, and he renewed his call for lawmakers to approve additional funding for public safety.

"There's too many guns on the streets, and 15-year-olds with guns shooting someone or a 20-year-old being shot last night — we have got to make it as difficult as possible for folks to be getting these guns,” Walz said.

The DFL governor said the shooters and the victims involved in both State Fair situations likely knew one another. He said that the victim in Monday night's shooting, as well as the shooting at the fair Saturday, refused to cooperate with police.

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