***Press release ***

Sheriff W.A. “Arnie” Holmes reports that the Essex County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a chain of events that began at Friday night’s home football game against King & Queen County.  At approximately 8:23pm on Friday, September 24th, a fight broke out in front of the ticket booth and extended out into the high school parking lot.  During the fight, two Essex County deputies were assaulted.  At approximately 8:32pm several shots were fired in the high school parking lot which initiated Essex County High School staff to activate a panic alarm.  Moments later, a second set of shots were fired near the softball field.  Emergency protocols were put into place and the football game was shutdown and all players, coaches and attendees were directed to take cover and move to the visiting side of the football field.  Moments later a dark colored SUV and white sedan, heading towards Tappahannock Blvd., drove by the high school and fired several shots.  A search for both vehicles began, but both vehicles managed to leave the area.  Thanks to several tips provided by citizens, several persons of interest have been identified.  Currently, a Northumberland County juvenile is in custody on multiple charges, including two counts of assault on a Law Enforcement Officer.  More charges and arrests are expected as this case remains under investigation by the Essex County Sheriff’s Office.  The public is encouraged to send any tips or videos from this incident by calling or texting 804-443-3248.  During the incident, a request for assistance was made and members from the Tappahannock Police Department, King and Queen County Sheriff’s Office, Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, Northumberland County Sheriff’s Office, Virginia State Police and Chesapeake Bay Gang and Narcotics Task force arrived on scene and assisted the Essex County Sheriff’s Office with safely evacuating all attendees.  During this time there have been no reports of bystander injuries.  The two Essex County Sheriff’s Office Deputies were seen at Tappahannock VCU Hospital for minor injuries.