Shout of 'gun' sets off Tigard theater panic

TIGARD — A confused, upset woman who thought there was a gun Friday evening in a darkened theater where two other patrons were scuffling said the word "gun" out loud and set off a brief panic, a police spokesman said.

Most of the 100 patrons in one theater of a multiplex in the Portland suburb ran into the lobby and out the door after several people repeated the alarm, Lt. Erick Boothby said.

Several nearby businesses in the Bridgeport Village mall briefly locked their doors, KATU-TV reported.

"The word 'gun' came out of her mouth," Boothby said in a telephone interview. "Two or three other folks repeated it, which started the panic."

There was no weapon, he said, adding no one was hurt and no one was arrested.

Five Tigard officers responded, as did a half dozen police from nearby Tualatin. Washington County sheriff's officers were en route but were called off, Boothby said.

Cinema workers kept the other theaters in the multiplex calm, he said.

The woman seemed to be suffering from some sort of post-traumatic stress disorder, the officer said.

"She was having an episode because of the movie and the emotion in the theater with the lights out," he said. "She seemed very confused and upset over the whole matter."

The audience was watching the movie "Prisoners."

The scuffle involved a man in his 70s who apparently urinated on another patron's 14-year-old son.

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.

Boothby said it wasn't clear whether the older man had medical issues or possibly had a few drinks. Officers took him home.


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