BIRCHWOOD (WCCO) — A Minnesota family’s trip ended early after a fake Wild West shootout became all too real.
Carrol Knutson of Birchwood, Minn. was on vacation with her husband and grandson. She made it through six fun days, but when she got to Hill City, South Dakota, the dream vacation turned into a nightmare.
Walking along Main Street, the family stumbled upon a western-style gun fight, which locals do to raise money for charity.
Knutson, who started watching as a spectator, left as a victim.
“There were lots of shots, and I just felt something really sharp in my leg. It hurt really bad and I looked down and there was blood shooting out of my leg. And I suppose I started panicking,” she recalled.
Her teenage grandson, Jake, was there holding her hand.
“I remember her saying, ‘Ow! Ow! Help!’ And the next thing I know, I’m supporting her,” recalled Jake. “The whole scene, at first, it was kind of funny, I guess, but it turned out not to be so funny after chaos broke out.”
Two other people were also hit by bullets.
On Tuesday night, Knutson returned to the Twin Cities after spending a few nights in the hospital.
Now, she will spend the next two months recovering.
“I can’t plan anything, obviously, because I can’t do things that I normally do,” she said.
Knutson has a lot of time to think about how she conquered nearly 900 steps at the Jewel Cave National Monument during her trip. She also has time to think about how she’ll likely conquer her next task, which is getting better.
“We’ll get through it,” she said.
Police are still trying to determine just how this happened. So far, they’re not sure whose gun the bullet came from, whether it was from an actor’s gun or if it came from someone else’s gun.
The Wild West shows are now on hold until the police investigation is finished.