Published: Wed, June 12, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Several injured at Washington DC pride after gunshot fears spark panic

Several injured at Washington DC pride after gunshot fears spark panic

The incident happened near Dupont Circle.

An Indian-American was arrested in the United States for threatening a person with a BB gun and causing a stampede during an LGBTQ pride parade here, leaving several people injured as hundreds of participants fled in panic fearing a mass shooter.

Officers arrested a second person - Melissa Duffy, 43, - who identified herself as Singh's "significant other" on a single charge of "Assault on A Police Officer-Simple Assault", Washington Blade news reported.

"While canvassing the south side of the park, Officer Maio was flagged down by a concerned citizen who pointed out Suspect 1 and stated he was the individual that had a gun in his bag", the report says.

Although no gunshots were fired, hundreds of people ran from the area, knocking down metal police barricades and running into stores, fearing that a gunman had opened fire on the crowd of revelers.

Seven people were taken to hospitals with non-life threatening injuries they sustained in the disturbance and a number of other people with minor injuries were treated at the scene, Rivera said.

The defendant allegedly said he pulled out the B.B. gun because someone hit his significant other.

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Dustin Sternbeck, a police spokesman, said a gun was recovered by police in a backpack, but added no gunshots were fired and no-one was shot.

Organizers made a decision to shut down the parade for the night after the incident but said they would not allow the scare to ruin the weekend pride celebrations.

He said the group spent extensive time planning security procedures. Singh was stopped as he approached a brown paper bag containing a silver-colored imitation pistol, police said.

Guillermo Rivera, a commander with the Metropolitan Police Department, said the department had an "adequate amount of resources on the ground, which is why we were able to respond so quickly".

The name of the man arrested after police found a firearm near him was not immediately released.

Singh is expected to appear in court today.

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