On Saturday April 16th, just after 7:00 pm, Chico Police Department Dispatch began receiving numerous calls reporting a shooting inside the Tinseltown Cinemark movie theatre (801 East Ave. Chico, CA). Based on the information received, all available Chico Police Officers responded to the scene presuming an active shooter was inside the theatre. The first officer was on scene within 2 minutes of Dispatch receiving the first call.
When Officers arrived, most of the movie-goers had already evacuated the building. A systematic search was initiated to attempt to locate the possible shooter(s). After a secondary search of all 14 auditoriums, Officers were unable to locate any victims, armed subjects nor any evidence that a shooting had taken place.
As Officers conducted their methodical search of the theatre, they did note an odor that was consistent with pyrotechnics. The investigation of this incident is still in its preliminary stages, but Officers are focusing their effort on reports of some juveniles who were reported to have disruptive while inside the theatre.
The response and systematic searches took approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes to complete. They were part of a coordinated effort involving Chico Police, Chico Fire, and Butte EMS. The California Highway Patrol also assisted with perimeter patrols. The Chico Police Department fielded 17 Police Officers, 2 Sergeants, a Lieutenant and 3 Police Volunteers (VIPs). Chico Fire deployed 2 Engines and a Battalion Chief. Butte EMS deployed 2 Ambulances and a Battalion Chief.
We know that many of the movie-goers were unaware of the circumstances that led up to the evacuation. Due to the dynamic nature of this incident, we were unable to interview all those who might have information. If anyone recorded the initial incident on their cell phone or has information as to who might have been involved, please contact the Chico Police Department and reference case # 22-002327.
As a Department, we are aware that these types of incidents can be traumatic and can instill fear and anxiety to the whole community.
We hope that our response to this incident alleviates some of that anxiety in demonstrating our unwavering commitment to keeping this city safe.
Location: 801 East Ave. Chico, Ca
Victim: N/A Suspect: Unknown
Supervisor: Sgt. Mike Williams/Sgt. Peter Durfee
Lieutenant: Lt. Omar Peña
The Chico Police Department is committed to ensuring our community is a safe place to live, work, and recreate within!