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Increased security at Ravalli Co. Fair amidst mass shooting threat

Posted at 8:24 AM, Aug 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-28 10:24:01-04

HAMILTON — A Bitterroot man remains behind bars for reportedly threatening to shoot and kill multiple people at summer fair.

Austin Fugleberg is being charged with felony intimidation after he threatened to shoot people at the Ravalli County Fair.

Fugleberg said he was intoxicated when he made those comments and has also admitted to having some mental health problems and requested assistance. He was sent to St. Patrick Hopsital to be treated for severe alcoholism, however according to court documents he never received a mental health evaluation.

After consulting with local law enforcement, Fugleberg was then arrested for felony intimidation.

Although behind bars now, there are some residents still questioning if they should attend the annual fair. The Ravalli County Fair brings in plenty of people and Sheriff Steve Holton says during the event they always have increased security.

"The way it looks is special -- additional deputies and police officers simply assigned to the fair. It’s not our standard patrol shifts, we put an entire shift at the fair and we provide security 24/7 while the fair is going," Sheriff Holton told MTN News.

The Sheriff’s Office will provide security alongside the Hamilton Police Department and fairgrounds officials are confident in the safety of the fair, and are simply reminding people to be observant.

"Keep an eye out, be more vigilant -- and that’s something we have to do in everyday life anyway," Ravalli County Fairgrounds Manager Melissa Saville said. "We just want to make sure that – while we’re here having a good time – that we’re just keeping an eye out for our kids."

Sheriff Holton pointed out that it takes a community effort to report mass shooting threats -- and that was exactly the case in this incident. He added that Fugleberg is behind bars and won't be a problem at the fair.

The Ravalli County Fair kicks off Wednesday with the parade in downtown Hamilton starting at 10 a.m.