COVINGTON, Ga. — A large group of teens reportedly mostly escaped injury Saturday night after a Halloween party at a west Newton event venue ended with numerous fights and gunshots ringing out.
The Newton County Sheriff's Office (NCSO) was investigating Tuesday following the 11:30 p.m. incident Saturday in the parking lot of Salem Square shopping center on Salem Road near Old Salem Road, said NCSO spokesperson Caitlin Jett.
No one was injured by the gunfire, though the NCSO received a report of a girl at the scene being hit by a car while she rushed to leave the scene, Jett said.
There were no reports of the girl being injured.
Deputies detained four juvenile boys — a 15-year-old, two 16-year-olds and an 18-year-old, Jett said.
Charges included one count each of possession of a handgun by someone under age 18, and theft by receiving stolen property, a NCSO incident report stated.
"Two of the juveniles did have a firearm on their person, and one of the firearms was stolen out of Cobb County," Jett said.
Deputies seized as evidence a Glock 19X semi-automatic handgun; a Glock 19 semi-automatic handgun reported stolen from Cobb County; a handgun magazine with 13 bullets and an extended magazine with nine bullets, a report stated.
Jett said the party — which attracted d "hundreds" of teens — was held inside of an event venue in the Dollar General-anchored shopping center at 3269 Salem Road near the Rockdale County line.
A video posted on social media that went viral showed a violent confrontation between two girls amid a large group of teens outside the venue started the melee, which prompted other fights. As attendees rushed to videotape the fights on their phones, others hurried to leave the premises on foot or by vehicle. Gunshots soon could be heard ringing out on the video.
Deputies reported responding to a gun discharging in the area of the shopping center.
"Dispatch advised that they were receiving multiple calls in reference to gunfire coming from the area of an event venue in the parking lot of Salem Square shopping center," the report stated.
One deputy on the scene wrote, "Upon my arrival, there were hundreds of kids running around, along with cars leaving the area."
"I was walking through the parking lot with other law enforcement officers to make sure no one was hurt or shot."
Area residents using the Neighbors Ring app wrote they saw teens running from the scene as they drove nearby.
"I just picked up a group of kids and was scared for them and me," one app user wrote.
"Do not open your doors. There are people banging on doors for help," another user wrote.
Deputies brought teens from the party to the NCSO's Westside precinct on Salem Road for parents to pick them up, according to comments by area residents on the app.