The Orange Park Mall is back open after the Clay County Sheriff’s Office shut it down this weekend. Action News Jax showed you video of people running from the mall after a fight broke out.
We’ve covered violence at the mall in the past. I took a closer look at some of those past issues. These doors are open today, but some people say more need to happen to make customers feel safe.
“There’s definitely been a lot of violence up here,” says a local mom.
“It’s not safe,” says a local.
We have video a viewer sent Action News Jax of people running from the mall on Saturday.
The mall abruptly closed, and the Clay County Sheriff’s Office issued a community alert on Twitter.
“Because of how crazy it is here, the teenagers and violence,” says a local Mom.
“People with guns, gunfire, definitely a lot of fights,” says a local Mom.
Today Clay County Sheriff’s Office issued a statement on the matter saying quote “A large group of young people took advantage of what should’ve been a family friendly movie theater initiative at the AMC. Upon notification of the large crowd causing issues, the Clay County Sheriff’s Office immediately sent additional resources.”
The Sheriff’s Office says there has been an overall decrease in crime in the area —but people we talked with today still don’t feel completely comfortable.
“The malls been on a decent track, but I mean there was that shooting last year,” says a local.
“We only come during the day, in the evenings we never come up here,” says a local Mom.
I took a look back at some high-profile cases.
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In 2021 hundreds of shoppers ran from the mall after police got a report of an active shooter. But that report was not verified, and police never found a gun.
In 2020 The Sheriff’s Office investigated whether officers used excessive force when they were called to break up a fight among teenagers.
In 2017 more than a dozen teenager were reportedly involved in an all-out brawl.
And in 2015 extra deputies were brought into the mall to break up a similar fight—again teenagers were involved.
In an effort to make the area feel safer there has been discussions about installing a substation. I reached out Clay County Sheriff’s Office for comment and was told that the mall has mall security.
The closest substation is a mile up the road near a skate station.