Hundreds of people ran for their lives in panic in New York’s Times Square when a motorcycle backfired, causing some to think a gunshot had sounded.
Several loud bangs sounded in the Big Apple on Tuesday night causing a large number of people to flee in the opposite direction and towards West 47th Street and Seventh Avenue, according to the Daily Mail.
“It sounded like gunshots, it definitely did. Two or three thousand people, maybe, just dissipated into thin air,” a witness told CBS New York.
Another witness noted that people were in such a panic that some lost their shoes in their headlong rush to flee.
The New York Police Department reported that a few visitors to the area were injured during the mass of people scrambling to get away from the sounds. None of the injuries were serious, officials added.
The NYPD quickly tweeted out a notice that there was no shooter.
“We are receiving multiple 911 calls. Please don’t panic. The Times Square area is very safe! @NYPDnews @NYPDTimesSquare”:
— NYPD Midtown North (@NYPDMTN) August 7, 2019
Broadway actor Gideon Glick even noted that his show was stopped temporarily over the fears.
“Stopped our show tonight due to a motorcycle backfire that was mistaken for a bomb or a shooting,” the actor tweeted. “Screaming civilians tried to storm our theater for safety. The audience started screaming and the cast fled the stage. This is the world we live in. This cannot be our world”:
Stopped our show tonight due to a motorcycle backfire that was mistaken for a bomb or a shooting. Screaming civilians tried to storm our theater for safety. The audience started screaming and the cast fled the stage. This is the world we live in. This cannot be our world.
— Gideon Glick (@gidglick) August 7, 2019
Others who claimed to be on the scene also talked about their experiences.
Ran into @Forever21 in #timessquare to take cover of what we thought was an active shooter! Almost got trampled trying to get into the doors but that staff was great and locked us inside an made everyone go the bottom floor! Glad it wasn’t a real active shooter! #timesquare pic.twitter.com/kEBOIhOJ5J
— Linsey B (@iamlinseyb) August 7, 2019
If anyone knows Eunice Adebowale we have your purse after the non-shooting in #timessquare
— Katie (@kthawthorn) August 7, 2019
Was just in #timessquare and witnessed my first stampede, almost separating me and my friend. First there was pushing, then screams, and frantic running. I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed that much fear before.
— AshleyGraceVelazquez (@SayBoldThings) August 7, 2019
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.