ORANGE PARK, Fla. – Eight people were arrested Friday night after a fight outside the AMC 24 at the Orange Park Mall, according to investigators with the Clay County Sheriff's Office.
About 150 people were around when the eight people began to fight for unknown reasons, according to deputies.
Among those arrested are Darious Marquious Anderson, Lawrence Davis and Devont'e Charles Mack, all 18 years old.
They were arrested for concealed weapons. The Sheriff's Office has not said those three were part of the melee, however the Sheriff's Office jail website shows they were arrested at the mall at the time of the incident.
Mack was also charged with possession of cannabis.
A 17-year-old was also arrested for allegedly having a concealed weapon Friday night.
Investigators said after the final movie let out, dozens of people got into a brawl in a parking lot. Many other people who were not involved were leaving the theater as the fight was happening.
News4Jax Crime and Safety Analyst Gil Smith said that could have made for a dangerous situation for innocent people in the area.
"Not knowing anything really about the people, they could hit them from behind or anything like that. It was a very dangerous situation for the law-enforcement involved," said Smith.
Smith said teens having firearms can be very dangerous as well.
"They're probably not trained in firearms and don't have the discipline. Anything could've happened when you have that many young people, who in many cases just react off emotion, without thinking. So many people could've been hurt," said Smith.
News4Jax attempted to contact Simon Malls, the property manager for the Orange Park Mall and AMC the company that operates the movie theater for comment about the incident. Neither has responded to any request.
Smith says that people should always be cautious if they see a brawl like that happening.
"Sometimes when we have a large gang or large mob like that, they can turn on innocent people, because they see them there or maybe see them as an easy target. The best thing for them to do is to try to stay away, maybe go back inside the movie theater until the situation is under control," Smith said.
When News4Jax showed up at the Orange Park Mall on Saturday Morning, Channel 4's Chris Parenteau did not see a noticeable increase in security at the mall around the movie theater.
"It looks like it was probably planned to have that many people just coincidentally be there at the same time, probably not, so it looks like something that may have been planned online or a group of people got together and just decided that this was going to happen last night."
Many people took to Facebook to share their feelings about what happened.
One woman wrote, “This makes me so sad. Where are the parents to these kids, especially on Christmas? I know my daughter will NOT go to Orange Park Mall again.”
Another person wrote, “Wow…pretty soon the movies will be closed on Christmas, this happens every Christmas, first at River City, now Orange Park.”
We did contact Simon Malls, the property manager for the Orange Park Mall, and AMC for comment, but neither has responded to our request.
The first movie of the day was scheduled to play around 9 a.m.
The Sheriff's Office has not said how much security it will have at the mall in the coming days.