STAMFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork) – The sound of gunfire and someone shouting “Everybody down, everybody” shocked moviegoers sitting in the lobby of the Bow Tie Majestic 6 movie theaters Sunday night, but the incident appears to have been a juvenile prank.
Five children ranging in ages from 10 to 16 were arrested and face both criminal charges and potential school disciplinary action after police say they used toy cap guns to stage the mock attack in Stamford, reports CBS2’s Tony Aiello.
Police say three members of the group had noisy toy guns and fired them in the theater while shouting “everyone down” before fleeing the theater.
“They let the rounds off, then they yell out, ‘get down, get down, get down.’ Me, if I’m in that theater, I’m thinking there’s a robbery going down and I’m going to protect myself,” Sgt. Joe Kennedy told Aiello. “Just shock and disbelieve, you know, a lot of fear.”
Officers responded to the scene as if it was an active shooter situation.
“The response from patrol is full-blown lights and sirens,” said Kennedy.
A person at the movie theater followed the youths outside and was able to tell police where to find the suspected pranksters who now face charges.
Police said the youngsters are lucky no one was hurt and no one mistook their fake guns for brightly colored real ones.
“You can buy weapons in any shape, color, it’s quite an array — fluorescent pink, green, orange are very big in the gun market as far as if they’re going off-color,” Kennedy said.
Several patrons in the theater later said the incident reminded them of the 2012 mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado, where gunman James Eagan Holmes killed 12 people during a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises film.