Bellingham theater evacuated Sunday afternoon; 1 in custody

Photo from Bellingham Police Department

Police arrested a man who made a bomb threat Sunday afternoon at the Regal Cinemas Stadium 16 in Bellingham.

Bellingham Police Department officials said the 27-year-old man stood up with a backpack at the end of a showing of "The Avengers: Endgame" and shouted and said, "This bomb will be the end." The rant prompted people inside the theater to panic and run.

A citizen armed with a knife followed the man to a nearby coffee shop and told him to kneel and to wait for the police to arrive, officials said. The suspect complied and when officers arrived, he was taken into custody without incident.

The theater was evacuated and searched by the Police Department's hazardous devices unit and a bomb-sniffing K-9, officials said.

The man’s backpack was isolated in the parking lot and no explosives were detected, officials said.

"This was a very stressful and chaotic scene, and I could not be more proud of our officers and community on how they came together in dealing with such a potentially dangerous situation," said Bellingham Police Chief David Doll said in a news release.  "With the help of a community member, our officers quickly and assuredly made an arrest while Regal Cinema employees assisted in evacuating the entire theater in an effort to keep the public safe from a potential explosive device.  Our officers' professionalism, teamwork and training ensured a swift and safe end to this frightening event in our community."

No injuries were reported.

The man is expected to appear in court on Monday.

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