Shoppers panicked and rushed out of a New Jersey mall on Monday evening after a chair and some tables slammed to the ground in the food court, according to Elizabeth, New Jersey Mayor Chris Bollwage and local police. Nearby mall patrons thought the slamming was a gunshot and said as much, prompting the hysteria.

"That was enough mass hysteria for me," one witness wrote on Instagram, apparently a tourist. "I don't even want to go to the ball drop New Year's Eve, whatever this was that took place was enough to not want to do anything the rest of the trip."

The incident took place at The Mills in Jersey Gardens, a two-floor outlet mall on Kapkowski Road in Elizabeth. Videos on social media posted around 5:00 p.m. show shoppers running through the mall and parking lot, as well as armed police officers patrolling. In at least one instance, shoppers took cover inside of a shop.

Elizabeth Police Lieutenant Michael Kelly told Gothamist that officers responded to the mall at 4:57 p.m. on Monday. "Basically it was a fight in the food court and some tables got knocked over and people heard the loud noise and took it as gun fire and got nervous," Kelly said. "In reality it was just a fight where the tables got knocked over and made loud noises."

Kelly said that there were no arrests, and that nine people sustained minor injuries during the ensuing rushed evacuation.

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Mayor Bollwage tweeted an account of the incident Monday night, including an early injury report which was later updated.

"The safety and security of our guests and employees is our top priority," the mall said in a statement to the New Jersey Advance. "As this is an ongoing investigation, we ask that you direct all further questions to the Elizabeth Police Department."

NBC reports that a very similar incident took place almost concurrently, at a mall in Garden City. False reports of gunshots in the Roosevelt Field Mall foodcourt—possibly chairs hitting the ground—prompted a stampede.

Last week, a man walked into an evening showing of the movie La La Land and approached the screen, prompting a frantic evacuation.