Social media reactions swarm the internet over misfiring bike's shooting scare in Times Square
NEW YORK (AP) — Frantic people scrambled to get out of Times Square on Tuesday evening, pounding on theatre doors to find a place to hide after the sound of a motorcycle backfiring caused fear that gunshots were being fired in the wake of mass shootings in other American cities.
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
The New York Police Department, which said it received multiple 911 calls about the tumult, tweeted a reassurance: "There is no #ActiveShooter in #TimesSquare. Motorcycles backfiring while passing through sounded like gunshots."
"Please don't panic. The Times Square area is very safe!" the department added.
There is no #ActiveShooter in #TimesSquare. Motorcycles backfiring while passing through sounded like gun shots.— NYPD Midtown North (@NYPDMTN) August 7, 2019
We are recieving multiple 911 calls. Please don’t panic. The Times Square area is very safe! @NYPDnews @NYPDTimesSquare
But after 31 people were killed in two mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, in less than 24 hours over the weekend, the sudden discharge of loud noises Tuesday night had people screaming as they fled in one of New York City's most popular areas.
Tonight at work in Times Square (the Imperial Theatre) I accepted it was my time to die. I stood in a locked bathroom, lights off w/ 10 women & accepted I’d take the brunt of the spray of bullets. Feel pain unlike I’ve ever known. Not because crowds panic, but because...— Brett Tubbs (@bretfurd) August 7, 2019
"You hear a noise, you run. That's the state of this nation. We're petrified," Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, said Wednesday as he reflected on the panic.
Video footage showed the throngs rushing out of the busy tourism and entertainment area, with some taking cover behind vehicles.
People fleeing and hiding from #timessquare after suspected live shooter #NewYork we caught this from our hotel bar 10th floor #police confirmed this was not a live shooter #timessquare #NYC pic.twitter.com/IKfagFbtzy— The Daniels Group (@DanielsGrp) August 7, 2019
Gideon Glick, an actor in "To Kill a Mockingbird" on Broadway, said the show at the Shubert Theater had to be stopped because of the chaos.
"Screaming civilians tried to storm our theatre for safety. The audience started screaming and the cast fled the stage," he wrote on Twitter. "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
The Fire Department of New York said nine people were hurt altogether, with six transported to hospitals. Most injuries were minor.
Here we have a crowd of scared citizens jumping to the wrong conclusion.— Fearless/Lessfear (@Quotemeorelse) August 7, 2019
This is the state of our country. Running scared from any and all loud popping noises due to the rise of Gun violence.
All due to a backfiring motorcycle in Times Square.
The whole country has PTSD. pic.twitter.com/8RKZTwFzxp