False Shooter Report Sparks Panic At DC Pride [VIDEO]

False Shooter Report Sparks Panic At DC Pride [VIDEO]

The Washington Post reports:

Reports that shots had been fired near the site of the Capital Pride Parade in Washington on Saturday evening sent people running in panic through the streets, according to accounts from ­witnesses. But D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) said shortly afterward that despite the rumors, “there were no shots fired” at Dupont Circle.

Officials later said that seven people were taken to hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries apparently suffered in the panic. Police said officers were sent to the circle for a report of a man with a gun. Around that time, a loud noise was heard in the area, police said. Police said they were trying to learn the source of the noise.

A brief video posted on Twitter shows people trying to leave the circle hurriedly. At first they appear to be obstructed by linked metal crowd control barriers that ran around the perimeter. Some climb the barriers. As they do, the barriers topple, with a clanking, crashing sound.

USA Today reports:

“As the officers were going to the scene, there was a crowd of people going away from it and some of the individuals in the crowd said there was a man with a gun and that someone had fired a shot,” said Guillermo Rivera, a commander with the Metropolitan Police Department. The man was taken into custody and is facing a gun possession charge, Rivera said. City officials said no shots were fired.

Elizabeth Hernandez, 19, was among the thousands celebrating LGBTQ pride in the city when she said she heard “pop, pop” and suddenly barricades were being tossed over and a crowd of people starting running frantically from the area.

“Everything fell and everyone said ‘Run!’” said Hernandez, of Falls Church, Virginia. She ran down the block and was pushed into a restaurant, where she went into a bathroom with a group of fellow revelers.