Police: Theater incident was a misunderstanding

IRON MOUNTAIN — A misunderstanding involving a middle school horror story writing project led a student to believe a shooting was planned Friday evening at the Tri-City Cinema 8 in Quinnesec and local police to lock down and search the theater, authorities said.

All students involved in the incident have been cleared of any wrongdoing, Dickinson County Sheriff’s Office officials said in a press release issued this morning.

Deputies went to the theater about 6:09 p.m. Friday after receiving a tip of a possible planned shooting at the 6:30 p.m. showing of “Happy Death Day,” officials said.

They found no weapons, determined the threat to be false and allowed the theater to reopen for business.

Follow-up investigation revealed a local middle school, which officials did not identify, assigned a “Friday the 13th” horror story writing project that day.

A student overheard a boy talking about the assignment and misinterpreted it as a discussion about a planned shooting at the theater, officials said.

The student believed it to be a credible threat and informed a parent, who then contacted 911.

“The incident is nothing more than an unfortunate event and no credible threat was found,” the release stated. “There also is no fault found on the part of the individuals who brought the information of the threat to law enforcement — the information provided was believed to be accurate and therefore is not a false report.”

Michigan State Police troopers, Iron Mountain Police officers, an off-duty Kingsford Public Safety officer and theater staff assisted deputies.