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Sound of illegal fireworks incites panic at AMC Yorktown theater

Published: Thursday, June 12, 2014 10:33 a.m. CDT

LOMBARD – An illegal fireworks display set off near a Lombard movie theater Saturday night is likely what caused temporary panic for some patrons who mistook the noise for gun fire.

Police responded to a call of shots fire at 10:31 p.m. Saturday at AMC Yorktown 17, 80 Yorktown Shopping Center. Prior to arrival, a Yorktown security guard, who carries a police radio, alerted responding officers that the loud noises heard through the theater's exterior walls had been fireworks, Lombard Police Deputy Chief Tom Wirsing said.

"Officers arrived and determined that it was probably fireworks set off in the property east of the theater," Wirsing said.

The sound of the fireworks incited temporary panic inside the theater, as many patrons quickly exited the building, Wirsing said.

"The indication we got when we arrived is that it was very chaotic and people were upset," he said.

No injuries were reported in the incident. Police are investigating, but no suspects have been identified, Wirsing said.

The Westin Hotel at Yorktown, located north of the movie theater, occasionally will set off fireworks displays – to coincide with special events. However, Saturday's incident did not come from the hotel, said Wirsing, who added that the fireworks were illegal.

"The Westin sets off fireworks as part of wedding packages, but they notify Yorktown so they can tell their patrons and alleviate concern," Wirsing said. "That's why we are taking it very seriously."

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