Youth violence is the physical force or power to threaten or harm others by young people ages 10 to 24. It includes fighting, bullying, threats with a weapon, and gang-related violence. A young person can be involved with youth violence as a victim, offender, or witness.

Monday night’s shooting at the MontanaFair left one young male injured with a gunshot to the leg. Sheriff’s Deputies chased down a suspect they thought was involved initially but released him a short time later. Sheriff Mike Linder says he believes this is not a random shooting but rather an isolated incident because the parties most likely knew each other.

Youth violence is a serious public health problem, but it is preventable, and we can all help young people grow without violence. The shock of a teen shooting can leave us all feeling bewildered and fearful. Our minds tell us we’re in danger or we have a heightened sense of fear. In reality, these are most often lone shootings and rare in any population.

Don’t let the actions of one young person make you live in fear. The Sheriff’s Department is actively interviewing witnesses, and the fair goes on this year. The rodeo is this weekend and there are so many ag displays and education to enjoy. The Sheriff’s Department is asking for your help in the ongoing investigation. If you have any information, please contact the Sheriff’s Department directly.