MORROW, Ga. - The Clayton County Sheriff's Office is urging people to stay away from the AMC Southlake theater in Morrow tonight due to a large police presence in the area.
Sunday marked National Cinema Day, a holiday where many movie theater companies offer $4 or cheaper showings, typically drawing large crowds each year. In previous years, this holiday has also cultivated violence.
Morrow Police Major Mark Woodall told FOX 5 that an officer patrolling the theater around 8:14 p.m. issued a ‘shots fired’ call after what he believed were gunshots from inside the theater. That led to a near stampede as people rushed to get out.
Multiple witnesses told FOX 5 their movies were interrupted by texts and screams about an ‘active shooter.' Some said they found places to hide, others said they scrambled around for the nearest exit.
"You can see there was stuff broken," Woodall said from the parking lot. "It was all just distress and in disarray."
Woodall said he called for backup and worked to evacuate the theater in a quick, but ‘methodical’ manner.
After the customers were out, he said the responding officers did not recover any shell casings at the scene.
"Which doesn't rule out the possibility that someone may have been shooting a revolver, or maybe it could've been fireworks or something like that, but we didn't smell anything," he said.
Officials are continuing their investigation into what happened.
Meanwhile, FOX 5 reported on mass hysteria at another metro Atlanta theater the same night.
Douglasville police said a loud noise, mistaken for gunfire, caused panic at the Arbor Place Mall. The Regal Cinema there was evacuated and shut down for the night.
If you have any information, photos or videos to share of tonight's incident at AMC Southlake 24, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.