Chaos erupted in Times Square on Tuesday (August 6) night when thousands of people started running for their lives after mistaking motorcycles backfiring for gunshots.
"All of a sudden I heard this kind of muffled pop and said what was that, and I looked over, and there was just a sea of people running," witness Dylan Probert told WABC. "I had one or two seconds to think, is this really happening?"
People in the street started yelling that there was a shooter and everybody rushed to find cover. Some people hid inside stores, while others were trapped in theaters until the situation was brought under control.
"Everyone thought there was a shooter coming down the streets. I thought I was going to watch my daughter get shot down in front of me," Bridget Siljander, told NBC New York.
The New York City Police Department received multiple 911 calls but quickly announced that the reports of an active shooter were false.
"There is no #ActiveShooter in #TimesSquare. Motorcycles backfiring while passing through sounded like gun shots," the NYPD wrote on Twitter.
Over a dozen people were injured in the stampede. Most of the injuries were minor, and only six people were taken to the hospital.