HOWELL — A movie theater was evacuated and a person was arrested on New Year's Day after fireworks outside the building were mistaken for real gunfire.

Township police on Wednesday evening said responding officers found no evidence of gunfire but did find evidence of discharged fireworks. Officials said after 6 p.m. that a male suspect was arrested but they did not immediately provide more details.

Police said the theater manager confronted a male who they believed had set off the fireworks.

Inside the theater, meanwhile, panicked people called 911 after confusing the bangs with gun shots.

A commenter on the Howell police Facebook page said she was watching a movie when theatergoers heard the noise.

"The entire theater ran to get out. What a god awful experience. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone," the commenter said.

Police from Jackson and Lakewood also responded.

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Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-359-5348 or email sergio.bichao@townsquaremedia.com.

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