According to eyewitnesses who were at the park to celebrate Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, a group of nearly 100 Somali men mob rushed past security and amusement park staffers at the front entrance, and proceeded to run through the park and instigate fights among themselves and with guests.
As several violent fights broke out, guests began to panic as reports of people being stabbed and shot began to circulate.
Cliff Hallberg, who was inside the park with his children at the time the fights broke out said it was very frightening for his children. "I saw about 60 Somali teenagers push their way through lines and scream at guests."
Hallberg said tickets to the ValleyScare Halloween themed amusement park are usually expensive, which is why he attended on LEO appreciation day, as he himself is a member of law enforcement and received discounted tickets.
"I'll take my kids back to ValleyFair someday when I can afford it. I'm just glad I got my kids out safely," Hallberg said.
The violent fights erupted during Law enforcement appreciation day when the park was full of police officers and other members of law enforcement who received discounted tickets so that their families could enjoy the amusement park. An estimated 263 police officers responded to the fights inside the park, according to witnesses.