People in Times Square were fleeing in panic after mistaking a motorcycle backfiring for gunshots on Tuesday night, exemplifying the residual fear resonating throughout the US following a series of back-to-back mass shootings.
After receiving multiple 911 calls, police attributed the sounds of gunshots to motorcycles backfiring as they passed through the area. They urged people not to panic and reassured visitors that Times Square was “very safe.”
A video from a hotel bar captured Times Square visitors fleeing in fear.
In light of two mass shootings that took over 30 lives, panic spread throughout social media, as well as rumors of an active shooter in the area.
“Really cool to fully believe that you’re in active shooter situation because that’s everyone’s first thought when they hear a motorcycle backfiring in times square!!!” and editor at SELF Magazine tweeted.
Broadway actor Gideon Glick tweeted about the incident saying that his show was stopped due to the incident.
“Screaming civilians tried to storm our theater for safety,” Glick said on Twitter. “The audience started screaming and the cast fled the stage. This is the world we live in. This cannot be our world.”
Following the incident New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted that “Times Square is safe and secure per [the NYPD]. The noises earlier were motorcycles backfiring, not gunshots.”
“But what people felt was all too real,” he continued. “Nobody should have to live in constant fear of gun violence. This country is better than this. Let’s FIX this NOW.”