ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)—Frightening moments at an Annapolis movie theater after people frantically call police to report a man with a gun. It turns out no weapon was involved.
Monique Griego has more on why police are taking the incident very seriously.
Police say the man acted as if he was holding a gun, and then began pointing at people in the audience.
It turns out he didn’t have a weapon, but at the time people were so frightened many ran out of the theater or hid under their seats.
Wednesday afternoon, parents and kids packed into the Bow Tie Cinemas in Annapolis for a showing of “Madagascar 3.”
But just before the movie ended, panic erupted after police say Kyle Nolan Tanner, 25, began yelling and pointing at audience members like he was holding a gun.
Wendy Ladas got a frantic call from her 12-year-old son who was watching the movie with a friend.
“He’s hysterical. He’s crying. He’s like ‘Someone has a gun, and he’s in the theater,’” Ladas said.
Police say Tanner did not have a weapon, but at the time witnesses couldn’t tell because it was so dark in the theater.
“They thought he had a gun so they went under their seats. His friend kind of looked up and said ‘Let’s get out of here,’” Ladas said.
“Clearly there were people in there who were unsure if he had a weapon or not. That’s why they fled,” said Justin Mulcahy, Anne Arundel County Police.
Anne Arundel County police say several movie goers ran out and called police.
Within minutes officers arrested Tanner a short distance away from the movie theater plaza.
“We take these matters extremely seriously. We understand how it could cause angst or fear inside movie theaters, certainly in light of recent incidents,” Mulcahy said.
The horrific events in Aurora, Colo. were fresh in the mind of Ladas’ son.
“He’s thinking it’s just like in Batman. Someone has a gun. He’s going to kill everybody. That’s in the back of his head. I know it now,” Ladas said.
Police don’t know Tanner’s motives but say he’s now facing a list of charges.
“He should. It’s not right in this day and age for that kind of thing to go on,” Ladas said.
Tanner has been charged with reckless endangerment, disorderly conduct and second-degree assault.
The State’s Attorney’s Office is still reviewing those charges, but no additional charges are expected.