HANOVER, Md. (WJZ) — The search is on for the person who set off fireworks inside a crowded movie theater at Arundel Mills. Moviegoers panicked,  thinking the loud blast was a gunshot.

Christie Ileto has the surveillance video just released in the investigation.

Police are searching for the man they believe is connected to explosives set off inside the Cinemark Movie Theater in Arundel Mills.

“Next thing I know, everybody’s just jumping out of their seats and screaming,” said Luis Andrade.

Movie patrons described the explosion as gunshots ringing out.

Andrade recounted the chaos that followed in the next theater over.

“We saw a gentleman say, `There’s an emergency exit’ and we ran out and I turned around; a lot of people from the mall were sprinting out,” Andrade said.

“It appears to be some sort of prank that should not take place and the person responsible needs to be brought to justice,” said Lt. T.J. Smith, Anne Arundel County Police.

Police say more than 300 people were inside the particular theater, but as a precaution, all the theaters were evacuated. Police searched all 24 theaters before learning a homemade firecracker of sorts exploded.

For many, it’s a stark reminder of the fatal shooting at the Mall in Columbia a month ago.

“I was actually at work in Columbia Mall,” said Sherita Davis. “Whenever stuff like that happens, it really hits home.”

As for who’s responsible in this case, police are hoping new images of this person of interest will shed light on the face behind this senseless prank that could have been much worse.

Police say there were no injuries related to the detonation of the explosive.

Related Link:  Video Of The Suspect

If you have any information, please call police.

Other Local News:

More From CBS Baltimore

Track Weather On The Go With Our App!
CBS All Access

Watch & Listen LIVE