KNIGHTDALE, N.C. (WNCN) – Shocking video shows panic at a carnival in Knightdale over the weekend.

The video shows people, mostly teens, running away from the Spring Special Olympics Carnival after shots rang out around 9 p.m. Saturday.

The rushing crowd and flashing blue lights against the yellow glow of the carnival at the Midtown Commons Shopping Center was a scene no one expected to see.

Knightdale police said there was a fight near the concession stand.

Officers tried to break it up, but someone fired a gun first.

A 16-year-old was taken to the hospital after being grazed by a bullet. At least two cars were also hit by gunfire.

“I’m not sure why people would bring guns to a family outing,” said Stacy Thomas, who lives in Knightdale.

The violence forced officers to shut down the carnival early Saturday night.

They also canceled the second day of the fundraiser, which was set for Sunday.

Town officials told CBS 17 the financial losses are “substantial.”

They are waiting to see how much payroll, concessions, and ticket sales were affected.

“You should be able to do fundraisers and enjoy family-friendly outings, without being worried about getting shot at,” added Thomas.

Knightdale police told CBS 17 they had a strong presence on Saturday. They said there was a dedicated team of officers at the carnival.

A representative added, that even before shots were fired, every officer who was on patrol duty was called in to help the security team manage the crowd.

Thomas thinks maybe in the future things should be even more beefed up.

“They could spruce up security, but I don’t know how they could anymore. Maybe put a fence up? A metal detector?” she said. “If that’s what they have to do to make things safe.”

CBS 17 also spoke with a teen who was in the area on Saturday when shots were fired.

He told crews he was scared and wondered if he would be the next young kid to die because of gun violence.

Town officials told CBS 17 that despite Saturday’s events, they still made a $20,000 donation to the North Carolina Special Olympics.

The Town released the following statement Monday afternoon:

The Town of Knightdale is saddened and frustrated by the violent actions that occurred Saturday during the Spring Carnival for NC Special Olympics. At a time when community events should be welcomed with a sense of jubilant unity, we unfortunately realized not everyone appreciates the opportunity to congregate safely. A small group of lawless deviants chose to endanger the lives of hundreds of people. Their malicious actions showed a blatant disregard for others’ safety and well-being.

The Town has received some unfavorable speculation regarding the role and presence of Knightdale police at community functions. Knightdale has hosted countless community events over the years. Our Spring Carnival has been a town staple for more than 15 years. Saturday’s incident should not detract from the Town’s long history of facilitating a safe atmosphere for event participants, nor should it detract from the worthy cause our Spring Carnival supports. Our town and police department have always been dedicated to the safety of those participating in our local events. Extensive planning and preparation for public safety and security are woven into our town events such as our Fourth of July celebration, the Christmas Parade, K-Fest, the Spring Carnival, and so many others. No event takes place without a prioritized strategy for citizen protection.

At every event, public safety is paramount. We do our best to mitigate potential threats, but the guarantee of absolute safety often includes and depends on others adhering to a sense of social duty and responsibility. We send kudos to the officers on scene who rushed to the area, ready to confront the armed assailant. We also send gracious thanks to the men and women in blue who ushered people to safety and worked to clear the scene.  

Every situation like this is an opportunity to learn and provide us a chance to improve our operations.  As we prepare for other town-sponsored events in the coming months, our continued pledge is to ensure public safety at these gatherings. We thank you for your continued trust in and support of our public safety professionals.