Police discharged flashbang devices in an arrest in Jarrow last night.
Residents had reported hearing shots during the planned operation in Friar Way around 9pm.
But a Northumbria Police spokesman said: "The sound that was heard by members of the public was a police operation.
"The bangs that were heard were distraction devices used by the police. There were no firearms discharged.
"We did take quite a large number of calls to the police of people hearing bangs.
"It was part of a pre-planned operation that is ongoing in the Jarrow area which resulted in an arrest being made in Friar Way.
"There was engagement with local residents at the close of that part of the operation."