People Flee Times Square After Motorcycle Backfire Causes Gunshot Panic

by Christina Marfice
Earth Cam

9 people were injured running from what they thought was a shooter in Times Square. It was just a motorcycle backfiring.

There were never any shots fired, but still, nine people were injured in Times Square when a panicked crowd started running from what people thought was a shooter. It turned out to just be a motorcycle backfiring.

Multiple people captured videos from the scene, which show a packed Times Square where suddenly people are screaming and running for their lives.

Many people ducked into stores or restaurants. Some ran into a theater, disrupting a performance that was happening there.

Police said they received multiple 911 calls amid the panic. Of the nine who were injured in the panicked mob, six had to be transported to hospitals to be treated. There was no reason for this. There was never anything to be afraid of. But this is the fear we live with now in this country.

Mayor Bill DeBlasio tweeted after the incident to call on our country to do better than this, living in constant fear of being the next victim.

And people who were on the ground in Times Square that night have been sharing about the experience online, calling it “the scariest thing I have ever been in” and “Just another day in America.”

This time, the panic was over nothing. But can you blame people for hearing a loud noise like that and running for their lives? This is just days after mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, happened just 13 hours apart, killing 32 and injuring dozens more, in the 250th and 251st mass shootings our country has had so far this year. There have been more mass shootings in the U.S. this year than there have been days. No wonder people are terrified after hearing a loud gun-like noise in public.

In the aftermath of those shootings, people started to tweet about the constant anxiety they feel going into public places and wondering if they’ll be next. Since our lawmakers actively refuse to take any steps to curb gun violence, all we can know is that the next mass shooting will happen. What we don’t know is when or where it will happen — or if we’ll be among the victims this time.

And in the rest of the world, where gun violence absolutely does not happen on this level in any other prosperous or developed nation, governments are warning their citizens to be wary of travel to the U.S., telling them that going to events, concerts, festivals, and other places that might interest tourists could be dangerous because of the possibility of a shooter being present.

No wonder the people in Times Square that night were so scared. The reality now is that we have accepted shootings as part of our national fabric. We’ve refused for so long to do anything about them that we’re just waiting for the next one and hoping to God we’re ready to run when it happens. This is America today.