A backfiring motorcycle caused mass panic in New York City.
The popping sounds were mistaken for gunshots.
The crowd stampeded, causing 22 injuries.
With a nation on edge after three mass shootings in the space of one week, a backfiring motorcycle causes mass panic in New York City, United States of America.
The panic also interrupted and ended the Broadway play “To Kill a Mockingbird” in the Schubert Theatre. The crowd had attempted to flee the play, resulting in a stampede which injured 22 people.
BREAKING **PANIC AT TIMES SQUARE** Broadway and West 44 Street. A motorcycle backfiring caused people to think there was shots fired. Thousands of people panicked. #NYPD on scene confirming it was motorcycle.
— NYC Scanner (@NYScanner) August 7, 2019
New York Police Department said a group of motorcycles were passing by when one of them backfired. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio also issued a statement via his Twitter account that, “Times Square is safe and secure. The noises heard earlier were motorcycles backfiring, not gunshots.”
One person said, “We just hear ‘pop’, ‘pop’, ‘pop’, and thought that somebody just came in and started shooting people.”
Another said, “It’s a shame the climate of America is like this.”
The mass shootings have occurred at public events. The last three shootings at the Gilroy Garlic Festival, Arianna Grande’s Manchester concert and Route 91 Harvest Festival left 58 dead and another 489 wounded. Punk band Blink-182 was forced to cancel their concert in El Paso after a gunman opened fire in a Walmart Supercentre, killing 20 over the weekend.