ORANGE PARK, Fla. — On Saturday night, there was a massive police presence surrounding a carnival in Orange Park near the mall.
It was the second week of the carnival and Chief Jeff Johnson with the Clay County Sheriff's Office says there were multiple fights in the parking lot that later led to a shooting across the street from the mall.
“I was shocked because I live in a pretty good neighborhood you know? There aren’t any crimes or anything crazy going on this side of town. I heard the carnival is going to be in Jacksonville next week but I refuse to go because there will be more crime," said Debra Tender, Clay County resident.
Johnson says six to seven shots were fired and the shooter has been taken into custody, but this isn’t surprising to one Clay County resident.
“No it's very normal like it's very normalized. This whole area in general is just not good at night at all," said one Clay County resident.
Tender has been a Clay County resident for five years and she planned on going to the carnival with her family paying over $100 only to find out it was shut down.
“People are nice and polite over there that’s why it shocked me what happened last night and to the fact that people bought tickets like myself and now we’re not able to use it and it says non-refundable and I'm upset about it," said Tender.
First Coast News reached out to S&T Magic Midways, the company that provided the carnival and the admin said "if you bought your admission ticket straight through them, give them a call so they can further assist but if you bought it from a third party then you will have to contact them."
After the incident Saturday night, Sheriff Michelle Cook put out a follow-up post on Facebook. In the post, Cook let residents know that the Orange park mall is generally very safe and she said she has numbers to prove that.
She also noted that the Orange Park Mall provides jobs for people who live in the community.
Cook encourages every concerned Clay County resident who has reached out and asked how they can help to go to the mall this week and walk around and spend a little money and support the businesses in the mall.