Panic at the Newport Centre Mall in Jersey City as reports of an active shooter spread on social media, however, what many thought was the sound of gunfire was actually a malfunctioning popcorn machine.

Police received multiple calls to 911 of shots fired Saturday, October 1st, around 3:30 PM.

Officers were on the scene in less than five minutes and quickly determined there was no threat.

On Twitter and other social media, the damage had already been done, and the rumors continued to spread.

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A group calling itself "Fox3Now" sent out at least two tweets warning people to stay away from the mall because of "an active shooter." They went on to claim "there may be 3 men involved," but then added reports "could be off."

Fox3Now is not affiliated with Fox News and appears to be one of many sites claiming to be a legitimate news organization but without credible affiliations and standards.

Attempts to reach the media organization by were unsuccessful.

People that were inside the mall called the scene terrifying despite the false alarm. Many were seen stampeding to the exits as the rumors spread.

There have been incidents at Newport Centre in the past.

A food court fight escalated into gunfire in 2019, resulting in two men being shot. In July, a reported shooting turned out to be fireworks set off by a group of teenagers.

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