crimesider

Fireworks scatter Md. moviegoers, man behind "prank" sought

HANOVER, Md. - Authorities are looking for a a man caught on video who they say set off fireworks - and triggered fear - in a crowded movie theater Monday in Anne Arundel County, Md.

According to CBS Baltimore, spectators panicked thinking the loud blast at the Cinemark Movie Theater in Arundel Mills was a gunshot.

Police say more than 300 people were inside the particular theater, but as a precaution, all the theaters were evacuated. They searched all 24 theaters before learning a type of homemade firecracker had exploded, CBS Baltimore reported.

Moviegoer Luis Andrade recounted the chaos.

"Next thing I know, everybody's just jumping out of their seats and screaming."

"We saw a gentleman say, `There's an emergency exit' and we ran out and I turned around; a lot of people from the mall were sprinting out," Andrade said.

"It appears to be some sort of prank that should not take place and the person responsible needs to be brought to justice," said Lt. TJ Smith.

For many, it's a stark reminder of a fatal shooting at the Columbia mall a month ago.

"I was actually at work in Columbia Mall," said Sherita Davis. "Whenever stuff like that happens, it really hits home."

As for who's responsible, police are hoping new images of the person on surveillance video will lead to an arrest.

Police say there were no injuries related to the fireworks detonation.



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