TIGARD, Ore. – A woman who thought she heard the word “gun” in a Bridgeport Village theater shouted the word, causing a panic and businesses at the mall to go into lockdown Friday night, police said.
Police responded to the mall, but Tigard Police Department spokesman Jim Wolf said there was never a weapon.
A police officer at the scene said the woman, who has post-traumatic stress disorder, was watching the movie "Prisoners" when the incident happened.
The incident started when a man in his 70s urinated on a 14-year-old boy during the movie, sparking a confrontation between the boy's father and the man, police said. The woman, not aware of what was going on, then shouted "gun," setting off a panic inside the theater and causing moviegoers to flee.
"She was having an episode because of the movie and the emotion in the theater with the lights out," Lt. Erick Boothby said. "She seemed very confused and upset over the whole matter."
Boothby said the teen's father "took the older gentleman to the ground and held him there." That dust-up involved yelling and screaming, the spokesman said.
Most of the 100 patrons in one theater of the multiplex ran into the lobby and out the door after several people repeated the alarm, he said.
Businesses at the mall, including American Apparel, which is right next to the theater, went into lockdown.
Alcohol may have been a contributing factor in the man's decision to urinate on the boy, police said. No arrests were made.
Officers from other agencies were headed to the theater when it was determined to be a false alarm.
“This was a good dry run for a real theater shooting,” Wolf said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.