On Friday night, July 9, a drive-by shooting outside Knotts Berry Farm injured two teenage boys
Knotts Berry shooting sent large crowds fleeing the amusement park, with some falling and twisting ankles as the park was evacuated and panic spread, and others hiding with strangers in bathrooms, storage areas, and refrigerators.
At about 8:27 p.m., Buena Park Police Sgt. Mario Escamilla said, dispatchers received numerous reports of shots fired near the theme park’s front entrance. A vehicle on Beach Boulevard, south of La Palma, fired multiple rounds. Outside of the northeast section of Knotts, where Camp Snoopy is located.
One boy was treated by the Orange County Fire Authority before being taken to a hospital, and the other boy showed up there later, Escamilla said. They did not immediately appear to have been gravely wounded. Their ages and other details were not made available.
There was no description of the shooter or the vehicle, Escamilla said Saturday. Whether there was a confrontation before the shooting was still under investigation.
An Instagram post shows a teen boy wearing a dark-colored jacket, dark-colored pants and white shoes doubled over, showing what appears to be a bullet hole in his jacket and blood seeping through it. He says in the video that he was shot in the leg. Escamilla said the video “appears” to be that of a victim of the shooting but that detectives have not confirmed that.
Knotts announced that it would be open on Saturday. On Saturday, multiple phone calls to media relations were answered with a busy signal.
The shooting and the ensuing panic were described by park visitors as terrifying.
Zachery Lewis was at the park with his family when “people started running from the bumper cars out of nowhere,” he told OC Hawk videographer Adrian Pineda. “At first, I thought it was a fire because I could smell something burning. Then I heard, ‘Gun! Gun! Gun!’
Following the shooting, Lewis said he saw people being knocked around and falling over. He attempted to assist some in regaining their footing, dislocating his shoulder in the process, he said, his arm held aloft and supported by others.
Some people twisted their ankles as they ran from the scene of the shooting, police said.
“Everyone started panicking, kids were getting lost because we didn’t know what was going on,” Melody Padilla, who was at the park, told ABC7.
Mark Ahrens took refuge in the park and posted a photo on Twitter showing him and a boy waiting out the situation with others in a small room. Their faces reflected the uncertainty of the moment.
“An audio tech named Rod allowed a group of us to hide in his tech storage area behind the small band stage. Some of us prayed. Then we were led backstage out,” Ahrens wrote.
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