A backfiring motorcycle caused a brief panic in Times Square Tuesday tonight, as tourists and New Yorkers alike ran for their lives thinking someone was firing a gun.
Police received several 911 calls at about 9:45 p.m., and witnesses took to Twitter to describe people running in fear.
“In Times Square. There was a loud sound (later heard it was a motorcycle backfiring) and everyone panicked. Running en masse, men yelling ‘Get down!’ Separated from my brother, but now fine. Freaky experience,” one Twitter user wrote.
The Times Square Earth Cam showed a birds-eye view of the scene, recording screams as hundreds of people cleared the street at the Crossroads of the World.
WOW: Watch as crowds in #TimesSquare flee what they believed was gunfire after a pair of weekend mass shootings; NYPD says sound was motorcycles backfiring https://t.co/8MzB8W8vhk #LiveDesk #NYC pic.twitter.com/lAdlDh61iK
— Dan Snyder (@DanSnyderFOX25) August 7, 2019
Police tried to sooth the nerves of people who may have still been on edge after mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, this weekend.
“There is no #ActiveShooter in #TimesSquare. Motorcycles backfiring while passing through sounded like gun shots,” the NYPD’s Midtown North precinct tweeted at 10:09 p.m. “We are receiving multiple 911 calls. Please don’t panic. The Times Square area is very safe! @NYPDnews @NYPDTimesSquare.”
— NYPD Midtown North (@NYPDMTN) August 7, 2019
An NYPD spokesman said no one was injured in the panic.
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