Carowinds cites ‘unruly behavior’ as reason for park’s early closure

CHARLOTTE — Chaos erupted after someone claimed to hear gunshots fired at Carowinds late Saturday night, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said.

Carowinds closed early, at 11 p.m., due to what park officials called “unruly behavior by several groups of minors” that led to “unconfirmed rumors of a threat to guests.”

An officer on scene told Channel 9′s Glenn Counts that no shots were fired, however rumors of shots being fired caused people to panic and run out.

Channel 9 could see CMPD’s helicopter circling over the park. Police said that some people were hurt as they left the park, but the extent of those injuries is unknown at this time.

Park officials told Channel 9 they plan to fully investigate the situation to see how they can change “training and response protocols in the future.”

Carowinds’ full statement is below:

“The safety of our guests and associates at Carowinds is always our top priority. On Saturday, September 17, the decision was made to close the park at 11:00 p.m. ET due to unruly behavior by several groups of minors which led to unconfirmed rumors of a threat to guests. This behavior did not align with Carowinds’ values and was not the experience we want any guest to have while visiting the park. As a precaution, local law enforcement was on hand to assist guests in exiting the park.”

Friday night was SCarowinds’ opening night, which is the park’s Halloween event. It’s the largest Halloween event in the Carolinas, according to its website.

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