Unfounded reports of a shooting last month that caused panic at an Arlington movie theater were the result of a misinterpreted video game reference shouted during a film, police said Wednesday.

On Sept. 14, officers responded to multiple emergency calls reporting a possible shooter at the Ballston Quarter movie theater in the 4200 block of Wilson Boulevard. Moviegoers were told to shelter in place, Arlington police said, but a search of the mall yielded no evidence of a shooting.

Police said an investigation that included witness interviews and a review of surveillance footage showed a juvenile shouted, “Pennywise has sharpshooter activated!” during a screening of the film “IT: Chapter Two.” The statement referenced the clown antagonist of the “IT” franchise, based on a 1986 novel by Stephen King, and “sharpshooter mode,” a feature in some video games.

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Some who heard the shout thought it referenced an active shooter, police said.

Arlington County Commonwealth’s Attorney Theo Stamos said no crime was committed and no charges will be filed in the incident.

“In today’s climate of heightened awareness around active violence incidents in public places, this incident serves as a reminder about the unintended impacts otherwise innocent actions might have,” Stamos said in a statement.

Arlington Police Chief M. Jay Farr praised the response of officers who arrived at Ballston Quarter that Saturday evening.

“I am proud of the actions of our responding officers and the detailed detective work conducted to bring this incident to its final disposition,” he said in a statement.

The mall is near N. Glebe Road and Wilson Boulevard, a main commercial intersection in Arlington’s Ballston neighborhood.

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