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Police release more details about chaotic night outside State Fair

It remains unclear if the pedestrian crash and shooting are related.
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New information has been released by St. Paul Police Department regarding a triple shooting and a crash involving a pedestrian outside the Minnesota State Fair Monday night. 

The chaos began just after 10 p.m. when a pedestrian was struck on Snelling Ave. outside the main gates of the Minnesota State Fair. As of Tuesday afternoon, the 19-year-old St. Paul woman struck by the car is in critical but stable condition at Regions Hospital. 

Police say the woman got into a vehicle in the left lane of northbound Snelling Ave. and then exited out of the passenger door and was struck by a Mazda CX-5. 

Police are investigating to find out if the woman got out of the vehicle on her own or if she was forced out. 

The driver of the Mazda, a 36-year-old Mounds View man, immediately stopped and called 911. While he was talking to dispatch, a group began pounding on his vehicle demanding him to get out. He was advised to drive to a safe place, so he went to a nearby Arby's parking lot where he cooperated with a Roseville police officer. 

No alcohol nor drugs were detected on the driver and he has not been cited with any crimes. 

"This is just a tragedy. A 19-year-old was struck by a vehicle and she's in grave condition," said St. Paul Police spokesperson Steve Linders, who said preliminary information has led police to believe that the Mazda was going 25-30 mph when it struck the woman. 

Minutes later, a shooting outside the MN State Fair gates

Three people were shot about two blocks south of the pedestrian accident on Snelling Ave., right outside the main gates of the Minnesota State Fair. All three victims were transported to Regions Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. 

Additionally, one of the gunshot victims was arrested had a warrant for possession of a firearm - arrested (20 from St. Paul). He was shot in the hand. 

"We don't know why somebody would so brazenly shoot at an area with so many people around and so many officers around," said Linders. "It was a very busy time. The fair was just letting out, we just had a pedestrian struck up the street, our officers were blocking off Snelling, we had buses trying to get out of there, we had people trying to go home, we had vehicle traffic.

"I can tell you this: The responsibility for this lies squarely in the lap of the people who pulled the trigger. It was brazen, it was lawless and it showed no regard for human life. And we're really upset about it." 

It remains unclear if the shooting is related to the pedestrian crash that happened moments earlier. 

"Until we find out who is responsible for the shootings, we won't know for sure," Linders said. "Until we can talk to the woman who was struck, we won't know for sure. It's certainly possible." 

Police believe there was a fight just before the 19-year-old was hit by the car, but it it's not clear if she had anything to do with it. 

Two different guns were used in the shooting but no arrests have been made as police continue to investigate. 

Later in the night, around midnight, approximately 30-40 people gathered outside the main doors of Regions Hospital and began fighting and pushing, according to St. Paul PD. Police deployed a small burst of chemical irritant to get the group to disperse, but not before three people were arrested for rioting. 

It's believed that the group outside the hospital was there in relation to the victims inside the hospital. 

One of the victims was shot in the hand and was arrested and booked into Ramsey County Jail on an outstanding warrant for illegal possession of a firearm. 

Separate homicide in St. Paul Monday night

Before chaos erupted outside the fair, homicide detectives were working a scene on the 1700 block of Ivy Ave. on the East Side of St. Paul. Officers were dispatched to the scene at 8:30 p.m. and found a man inside his home suffering from a gunshot wound. 

The victim was transported to Regions Hospital and later died. 

Circumstances of the shooting remain under investigation and no arrests have been made. 

Police are urging anyone with any information about any of the above incidents to come forward. 

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