Stampede Ensues After Loud Noise at Barclays Center Incites Fear of Gunman
Ten people were injured at the Barclays Center early Sunday morning when a loud noise heard on the street outside incited panic, sending throngs of people running as they tried to escape what they thought was a gunman.
The shooting scare came after a string of mass shootings in recent weeks. On Tuesday, a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers at a Texas elementary school, and earlier in May, a white gunman killed 10 people in a Buffalo supermarket in a racist massacre. In April, a gunman opened fire on a Brooklyn subway train, injuring 23 people.
Crowds were leaving the Barclays Center, in Brooklyn, around 1 a.m., after a boxing match between Gervonta Davis and Rolando Romero, when a loud sound was heard on the street outside the arena, according to a spokesman for the New York Police Department. People feared the sound might have been made by gunshots and frantically started running, with dozens of people racing back into the arena.
Videos posted on social media show people pouring back into the Barclays Center and racing through the aisles to take cover.
The police investigated and determined that no shots had been fired, though they could not say what had caused the noise. The ten people who were injured in the ensuing commotion were taken to area hospitals with minor injuries, according to the police spokesman.
Ryan Songalia, a boxing reporter for The Ring magazine, said that the boxing match had ended and that only media and production workers were left in the arena when the chaos erupted. As he was preparing to file his story on the match, he said, he heard a commotion and suddenly dozens of people began sprinting back into the arena.
At first, he thought a brawl had broken out, but then he saw the terror in people’s eyes.
“They looked like they were running for their lives,” he said in an interview.
Listening for the sound of gunshots, he crouched to take cover and discussed with other reporters nearby whether to make a run for an exit.
“We live in this country, and there have been a lot of bad headlines recently,” Mr. Songalia said. “I thought our worst fears would be realized.”
Naomi Osaka, the Japanese tennis player, was at the Barclays Center at the time and said on Twitter that she had been “petrified” as she huddled in a room with other people.