A Sign Of The Times

|
August 7, 2019 9:40 a.m.

At around 10 p.m. Tuesday night, panic gripped the Times Square area of Manhattan after a backfiring motorcycle was mistaken for gunshots.

I happened to be caught up in the chaos with my family. Upon leaving a Broadway show on West 45th Street, a sea of people rushed toward the theater, shouting and scared.

We ran back into the theater and hid under the seats. Some people climbed onto the stage to seek shelter. Children who had lost their parents screamed out amid the chaos. Abandoned shoes and other personal belongings were strewn about.

After a couple of minutes, the theater staff gave us an “all clear.” But after the weekend’s shooting massacres in El Paso and Dayton, it was obvious everyone was on edge.

A real estate company posted a video from the 10th floor of a hotel in Times Square, showing people running:

The New York Police Department eventually tweeted that a motorcycle backfiring was to blame for the chaos. It apparently backfired two to three times, leading people to believe it was gunfire.

After a few minutes everyone caught their breath and tears were wiped away. But the panic and anxiety everyone felt lingered.

Introducing
The TPM Journalism Fund: A New Way To Support TPM
We're launching the TPM Journalism Fund as an additional way for readers and members to support TPM. Every dollar contributed goes toward:
  • -Hiring More Journalists
  • -Providing free memberships to those who cannot afford them
  • -Supporting independent, non-corporate journalism
Are you experiencing financial hardship?
Apply for a free community-supported membership
advertisement
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Senior Editor:
Special Projects Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front-End Developer:
Senior Designer:
SPECIAL DEAL FOR PAST TPM MEMBERS
40% OFF AN ANNUAL PRIME MEMBERSHIP
REJOIN FOR JUST $30