ORANGE PARK, Fla. – The carnival at the Orange Park Mall in Clay County came to an abrupt end Saturday night.
Sheriff Michelle Cook said at least 1,000 people showed up at the carnival in the mall’s parking lot. Fights began breaking out among different groups of people.
According to Cook, innocent people may have been sprayed with pepper spray.
Clay County deputies arrived at the carnival to shut it down. In the shutdown process, more fights broke out. Cook confirmed at least two separate gunshots were fired between groups of people.
Officers from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and Orange Park Police Department, as well as Florida Highway Patrol troopers, helped the Clay County deputies with the shutdown process. Clay County Fire Rescue and the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department also helped.
According to Cook, a few Clay County deputies suffered very minor injuries. No injuries to anyone attending the event have been reported.
Clay County deputies arrested multiple people involved in the fights.
“We will not tolerate this sort of behavior in Clay County,” Cook said in a Facebook post. " The carnival was intended to be a family-friendly event.”
Earlier this evening a very large (1k+) group of mostly young people were gathered in and around the carnival located in...Posted by Sheriff Michelle Cook on Saturday, August 28, 2021
Since the carnival was canceled, people are asking for refunds. Kyle Sisson said he was able to get his money back.
“We were expecting it to be open today. We were going to get our money back or money’s worth,” Sisson said Sunday. “We went to the admissions stand and we had to write our names down on a sheet, and we all got our money back.”
In another Facebook post, Cook said her agency will not be “giving up” on the mall.
Follow Up regarding the Orange Park Mall…. First, the mall has been a cornerstone in Clay County. Built in 1975, it...Posted by Sheriff Michelle Cook on Sunday, August 29, 2021