Social media reports of ‘man with a gun’ at Valley Plaza Mall turned out to be bogus, police said

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Bakersfield police said officers investigating reports of a man with a gun at the Valley Plaza Mall Friday night, found there was no man with a gun and the reports turned out to be bogus.

Police said they received reports about a man with a gun at or near the mall at around 6 p.m. Officers arrived and determined no shots were fired and witnesses said they did not see anyone with a gun.

Officers say a caller received secondhand information on social media and reported it to police.

About an hour later, at 7:19 p.m., police said they received a second call about a man with a gun near a business at the mall. Officials say the call was possibly related to a theft. Officers searched again and found no shots were fired and no witnesses that saw a man with a gun.

In a release, the department said officers spoke to people about a possible “active shooter” at the mall was posted to social media, but the reports have been unsubstantiated.

Just before 11 p.m., movie goers next door at Reading Cinemas experienced an unsettling scare. Attendees tell 17 News they were seated inside a theater when people seated in the back rows ran from their seats, yelling about a shooter. Witnesses say some people took cover while others ran out. 
     Again, police said there was no indication anyone saw a gun and no shots were fired. Police said that as these social media posts re-circulate, they cause panic and multiple false reports. No arrests were made. Police tell us that metro officers are always assigned to the Valley Plaza area and their response time is immediate.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call Bakersfield police at 327-7111.

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