Faulty popcorn machine at New Jersey mall sparks panic, rumors of gunfire, active shooter

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Newport Center Mall, Jersey City - © Google Maps

JERSEY CITY, NJ – A faulty popcorn machine at the Newport Centre Mall in Jersey triggered panic and rumors, even leading to one news website declaring the scene an ‘active shooter’ incident.

At around 3:30 pm on Saturday, Jersey City police officers were dispatched to the mall to investigate a shots fired report but quickly found the problem to have been caused by a faulty popcorn maker.

A social media based ‘news organization’ Fox 3 reported the incident as an active shooter investigation, causing panic in the community, even claiming at one point that three suspects were involved in the ‘shooting’ that never took place.

“Avoid Newport Centre Mall, Jersey City. An active shooter reported by the Sears and the main lobby nearby Macys cosmetics section. Reports allegedly state (but could be off) that there may be 3 men involved,” the group posted to their Twitter feed.

The rumor caused panic inside the mall as patrons rushed toward the exits in fear.