Reports of an active shooter late Friday afternoon at Valley Plaza mall turned out to have been false, according to the Bakersfield Police Department.

The agency said in a news release Friday night it responded at about 5:57 p.m. to a report of a man in possession of a firearm near the mall. But once officers arrived, they were unable to confirm shots had been fired or that anyone had seen anyone with a firearm.

"It was determined the reporting party had received the information second-hand via social media," the release stated.

Then, at 7:19 p.m., a second call came in that there was a person inside the mall with a firearm, according to the release. Officers later determined the call was related to someone "possibly involved in a petty theft."

"Officers searched the area, and again, there were no reports of shots fired, or any witnesses claiming to have seen anyone with a firearm," the release said.

The department said reports of shots fired were "unsubstantiated." It asked anyone with information about the situation to call the agency at 327-7111.

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