Weekend gunshots, fights prompt earlier closing times, more officers at Mt. Trashmore carnival

Posted at 4:05 PM, May 31, 2015
and last updated 2015-05-31 16:05:11-04

Virginia Beach, Va. - The Mount Trashmore Summer Carnival had to be shut down early Saturday night.

Police were called out to the carnival on Edwin Dr. around 9:15 p.m. to help close roads and clear crowds.

According to police, gunshots were reported but no one was injured.

Eurydice Morales was at the carnival that night and posted a video to social media showing large crowds of people running from the area.

"I was on the other side of the park. When I saw all of the teenagers running, I started recording. There was a lot of running from right to left. When I heard the gunshot, I started running with my friend and her two daughters," she says.

Rebecca Wright visits Mt. Trashmore for her daily walks but says she has to make sure her kids, just 3 and 11-years-old don't see the carnival because they're always asking to go. She says after hearing about the fights, violence and shooting, there's no way.

"In the back of your mind, it's like, what if that happens when you are there," she says.

The carnival just opened on Friday, May 29 and is scheduled to run through Tuesday, June 23. It was originally supposed to close at 11 p.m. but for the time being, the carnival will close at 8:30 p.m.

In the meantime, Virginia Beach Police, Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation and carnival directors will sit down and look at security and operation policies to see what needs to be done to make sure there isn't a repeat of this incident for the rest of the month.

Officers will be brought in earlier on weekdays and additional officers will be brought in on the weekends.

Once final changes to the operation plans are made and details are ironed out for potential credits or vouchers to those affected by Saturday night's incidents, the information will be posted to the city's website.

NewsChannel 3 spoke to Captain Patrick Gallagher with the Virginia Beach Police Department about the incident.

He says on Friday afternoon, they were told that there was a social media posting that there would be a fight at the carnival.

"Social media is not the most realizable source. Took it seriously, added more staff, communicated with the city and carnival to make sure they had ample staff on site. The info we received it would happen Saturday," says Gallagher.

They say the crowds were larger than expected so they called in more officers. They broke up several fights and that's what caused management to shut down the carnival early.  One juvenile and an adult were arrested. More arrests could be expected.

They are keeping an eye on social media to prevent events like this from happening again.

He says social media may have showed gang affiliations, but they were not able to confirm that information yet. He feels as though officers were prepared for the incident.

They are continuing to investigate this case.

Stay with NewsChannel 3 for more updates.