On Friday night, Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, California became the scene of a drive-by shooting that left two teenage boys wounded and droves of visitors of the theme park running in fear of an active shooter situation. The day following, Knott’s Berry Farm is reportedly maintaining business as usual with a reopening on Saturday morning.
According to Buena Park police authorities, the two teens were shot near the entrance of Knott’s Berry Farm around 8:30 p.m. Friday night while the theme park was open to the public. The shots were reportedly heard within the park and triggered visitors to rush to exits in horror, per ABC7. A couple minutes before 9 p.m, Buena Park police noted via Twitter that there was no active shooter on the premises.
The two boys are apparently in stable condition following their injuries. The Orange County Fire Authority said that three additional patients were treated for minor injuries related to attempting to leave Knott’s Berry Farm following the shooting. Knott’s Berry Farm released this statement about an hour after the incident:
The tweet received flack from guests of Knott’s Berry Farm about the way in which the park decided to handle and subsequently address the incident. According to the tweet, the shooting happened “away” from the park itself, but there is a round of footage taken by guests of frantic running that did occur inside Knott’s in response to the situation, even though the shooting took place near the entrance of the park. One guest shared this experience Friday night through a Twitter post:
Another guest, who was on the park premises on Friday, had different thoughts on the matter. In her own post, she experssed her concern over a perceived lack of security inside the park itself. In her words:
Theme park security and protocols are important to making guests feel comfortable in places with increasingly large crowds like Knott’s Berry Farm. The threat of guns making their way into theme parks is sadly an issue that Disney Parks has to deal with. According to reports, Walt Disney World had to have at least 20 people arrested for bringing guns onto its premises in 2020 alone.
Knott’s Berry Farm was closed this past year due to COVID-19 restrictions, until the park opened its gates a month and a half ago. The theme park is celebrating its 100-year anniversary this year with safety protocols in place including mask mandates, health screenings and sanitization being implemented throughout the park.
The Friday night incident is certainly a valid concern for guests and employees of Knott’s Berry Farm. Thankfully, those injured are getting medical attention and those on the premises are safe after the drive-by shooting.