Published: Thu, August 08, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Motorcycle backfiring causes panic in Times Square, cops say

Motorcycle backfiring causes panic in Times Square, cops say

There was panic in Times Square Tuesday night as hundreds fled after they heard what they believed to be gunfire but turned out to be motorcycles backfiring.

Video footage from social media shared frightened tourists and New Yorkers alike running for safety after the loud booms rang out around 10 p.m. He wrote on Twitter, "Screaming civilians tried to storm our theater for safety".

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio confirmed on Twitter that Times Square was safe, but also commented on how people in the USA should not be in constant fear of gun violence and active shooters.

The NYPD posted to Twitter, to urge the public to not panic and reassure them that Times Square is "very safe!" "All reports of suspicious sounds were due to a large group of [motorcycles] cruising through the area on this nice evening", NYPD Midtown South tweeted.

Nearby at Junior's Restaurant & Bakery, a tourist hot spot, patrons dove under tables as those escaping Times Square made their panicked way into the restaurant.

"The audience started screaming and the cast fled the stage", he wrote.

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There were multiple calls to 911 over the incident, NYPD said. "This can not be our world", Gideon Glick, who plays Truman Capote in the show, tweeted. "The street was all running, so I ran until no one was running".

At least six people were taken to the hospital with injuries incurred during the stampede, according to WABC.

One Times Square visitor tweeted from inside the Disney Store, seemingly showing people hiding in the shop's storage area. Many people reported hearing the bangs, but didn't react until the crowds started screaming and running.

"Nobody should have to live in constant fear of gun violence".

Just about 14 hours later a man opened fire outside a bar in downtown Dayton, Ohio, that killed nine people, including his sister.

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