Police: Juvenile shouting false active-shooter warning sparked panic in Ballston Quarter mall

Police said they have found no evidence of a shooting at Ballston Quarter in Arlington, Virginia, after initial reports prompted a panic at the mall.

Arlington County police said that officers responded to a report of a possible shooting inside the mall’s movie theater at around 8:42 p.m. on Saturday.

A preliminary search of the Regal Cinemas movie theater and its surrounding area did not uncover any evidence of a shooting, police said.

An investigation showed that a juvenile male entered a movie theater playing “It: Chapter Two” and shouted a warning about an active shooter. Movie patrons fled the theater and began calling 911. Word of an active shooter spread around all of Ballston Quarter and more people began self-evacuating.

Police have not yet found, nor identified the juvenile who sparked the panic.

All individuals who sheltered in place were evacuated.

One individual sustained minor injuries while self-evacuating and was transported to a local area hospital. No other injuries have been reported, police said.

As fears over the possibility of a shooting dissipated, many continued to eat and drink inside restaurants and bars in the area.

Police spokeswoman Ashley Savage said police searched and cleared the whole mall, not just the theater, as a precaution.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow @WTOP on Twitter to engage in conversation about this article and others.

© 2019 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up