Jacksonville theater scare was false alarm

Some movie-goers trying to escape injured after someone yells 'He has a gun'

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Witnesses say while watching a movie inside a Jacksonville movie theater, a person yelled, "He has a gun," which sent everyone scrambling for cover.

Some people were injured trying to jump over people to get away.

It happened Friday at the Tinseltown theater on Southside. Channel 4 has learned that the whole thing was likely a false alarm.

Witnesses said the movie was almost over, but it ended abruptly as soon as someone yelled there was a gun inside the theater.

Thirty-five people ran out of theater 20 at Tinseltown while watching the box office premiere of the action-packed movie "Prisoners."

But it was action off-screen that sent people like Tina Ogden and her husband, Ryan, scrambling.

"There was a suspenseful part of the movie so the theater was really quiet. Then, my husband and I all of a sudden heard what sounded like herding elephants and the sound of them coming behind you, and we turn around and everyone is flying out of their seat and running to the exit," said Ogden. "At that point in time, we heard someone say, 'He has a gun.' I was pretty terrified. I was shaking. I just wanted to get out of the movie theater as quickly as I could."

Ogden fell down the stairs and scraped her knee while trying to escape. Three others were also injured.

"There were purses and shoes everywhere because people just left," said Ogden.

Some may understand why this happened after recent terror attacks from the Aurora theater shooting, the Navy Yard shooting, and the recent mall shooting in Kenya. But this one appears to be a false alarm.

Jacksonville police officers said they arrived and searched the theater, but did not find a gun or see any signs that a gun had been fired.

Detectives are not sure if it the scare was planned or simply spontaneous.

Looking back on the terrifying moment, Ogden believes it was simply someone in the audience reacting to a violent scene in the movie.

"I just think in this day and age you can't be too sure about things, and people reacted because of everything that has happened in the world," said Ogden.

Channel 4 reached out to Tinseltown and they have not responded about what happened.