Posted: Jan 26, 2013 7:33 PM by Mitch Bryan - MBryan@kristv.com
Updated: Jan 26, 2013 10:46 PM
CORPUS CHRISTI - Movie-goers at Starplex Theaters on Greenwood had a scary experience today when someone claimed they saw a man with a gun inside the theater.
"I was just standing in there, watching the movie, and the projector turned off, the sound kept going, then the sound cut off," said Derek Dubois. "We were in there for about a minute, in silence, then the Starplex people came in with their flashlights and told us all to evacuate the building."
Movie-goer, Derek Dubois says he and his fellow customers weren't sure what was going on at first, that is, until he caught sight of armed officers swarming the theater.
"As we were walking out, we saw all the cops with very large guns, shotguns, so I knew it wasn't just the power that went off," Dubois said.
He added that most people did not panic, but instead, laughed at the situation as they were herded out, into the parking lot.
"People were kind of joking around at first," he said, "because they didn't understand what was happening. And then as soon as we got into the hallway, and saw all the guns, I think that's when it kind of hit people."
Police say a woman inside a theater claims she saw a man with a shotgun sitting in the dark theater and immediately told theater managers. With the tragic shooting in a Colorado movie theater, still fresh in everyone's minds, they called police.
"It was kind of frightening," Dubois said. "Especially with everything that's been happening around the country. What happened with Dark Knight Rises."
Theater managers thought at first that the woman might have seen one of their employees carrying a broom, and mistook it for a weapon. Once she saw the employee face-to-face, however, she told police that he was not the man she saw.
So to be sure, on-duty SWAT officers cleared everyone out and checked the entire building...but they weren't able to find a weapon.
"I definitely think they're taking the correct precautions with this, just to make sure," said Dubois, "even if there is nothing wrong. Keep us safe."
Customers got to head back inside after about 20 minutes in the parking lot, but police say it was still important to ensure the safety of the movie-goers.
CCPD Captain Russel Sherman said, "We take it very seriously and that's the way we treated it. We'd rather go all the way and find nothing, than to make the mistake of not checking."
The woman who claimed to have seen a gunman won't get in any sort of trouble for the mistake. Police said she did the right thing by calling them even though it was a false alarm.
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