LANCASTER, Texas - A call about three armed robbers inside a crowed Lancaster movie theater brought out dozens of officers Tuesday night.
It happened around 11 p.m. the Cinemark Theater off Interstate 35 and Pleasant Run Road. Three men wearing all black came in with guns and allegedly forced the manager into the office and assaulted him.
The trio took an undisclosed amount of cash and ran. There was some concern that they were still inside the building so SWAT officers were called in, but the suspects had already escaped, police said.
There were still some 200 people inside watching movies with no idea the theater was being robbed.
Lancaster police notified all surrounding agencies for an "officer assist" call -- one of the most alarming dispatches an officer can receive. Inside, DeSoto police body cams shows the stressful job of sweeping the entire building, looking for possible gunmen hiding inside.
The Dallas County Sheriff's Office sent out tactical officers with their armored vehicle.
“Our priority is to save lives and we react to that priority,” said DeSoto Police Sgt. Nick Bristow. “And when we get into one of these possible active shooters, these possible men with a gun situations around a large group of people, we're going to respond accordingly. And we're going to respond with a significant number of officers and equipment."
"You never know you always have to plan for the worst and hope for the best,” said Lancaster Police Lt. Clifford Wherely. “Luckily at this point, the best did kind of play out -- the fact that nobody was hurt."
Cinemark Theater is working with Lancaster police and are reviewing video of the robbery, looking for clues like video of the suspects’ getaway car.
Investigators say one of the men spray painted one of the surveillance cameras in the office.
While there were 3 masked men, police say only one showed a hand gun.
Police also swept the grounds around the theater in case the men may have stripped off their black clothing as they left.