Man stabbed at Country Thunder festival, suspect Austin Hansen arrested

FLORENCE, AZ - A 20-year-old man was booked into the Pinal County Adult Detention Center after he allegedly stabbed another man at the Country Thunder event in Florence on Saturday.

Deputies got reports of a verbal argument escalating between two groups around 5:27 a.m. and found a 36-year-old male with stab wounds to the upper back and rib cage.

He was treated and airlifted to a Scottsdale hospital where he underwent surgery and is in critical condition, according to a Pinal County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman.

Witnesses said what began as a verbal argument quickly escalated into the stabbing.

The suspect, Austin Hansen, was located by deputies and arrested for disorderly conduct and aggravated assault.

Country Thunder producer Brian Andrews said, "The festival has become a city of over 22,000 people … it is unfortunate that incidents of this nature take place, however in an event of this size things happen that are outside of our control."

This is the 20th year for Country Thunder.

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