Panic ensued on Tuesday (August 6) evening after people in Times Square mistook the sound of a motorcycle backfiring for gunshots. 22 people were injured in the incident, with four people being taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Witnesses say that people were jumping out of their shoes and running for cover after hearing the popping noises they believed were gunshots.
Mayor Bill de Blasio reacted to the situation on Twitter, stating, “Times Square is safe and secure per @NYPDNews. The noises earlier were motorcycles backfiring, not gunshots. But what people felt was all too real. Nobody should have to live in constant fear of gun violence. This country is better than this. Let’s FIX this NOW. These have been disturbing times — and it’s normal to feel anxiety right now. Help is available if you need someone to talk to. Call 1-888-NYC-WELL. Trained counselors are standing by.”