False Shooting Reports at DC Gay Pride Parade Cause Panic

There were reports of a possible shooting at or near the Gay Pride parade in Washington D.C., and they caused a panic, but police have told local reporters that there was not actually a shooting.

“NO SHOOTING. Just spoke with @DCPoliceDept. They aren’t sure what caused the loud sounds,” reported Victoria Sanchez of ABC7. Deputy Mayor Kevin Donahue wrote, “@CapitalPrideDC #PrideDc #DCPride – There is NO Active Shooter at Dupont Circle. There are injuries from people running from what they thought were gunshots. But there is NO ACTIVE SHOOTER at Dupont Circle.” The mayor confirmed the same.

However, despite the lack of a shooting, there was an incident involving a weapon. NBC Washington D.C. reported that police confirmed they recovered a gun from a backpack in DuPont Circle, but it wasn’t “brandished” and threats were not issued. They were questioning the person who had the gun, NBC reported. ABC News reported that the man said the weapon was a BB gun and that he “pulled the gun on a man who was having an argument with a person he believed to be ‘his significant other.'”

The end of the parade was canceled as a precautionary measure.

Videos showed people running in a panic. However, a producer for ABC7 DC also reported there is no active shooter.

“..panic at #DCpride after reports of gunfire, but police say no active shooter. Stay with @ABC7News for updates,” the ABC7 producer wrote.

According to its Twitter page, Capital Pride Alliance “produces the Pride Celebration in the Nation’s Capital.” That organization’s page confirmed there was an “incident” but did not provide specifics, writing, “There was a reported incident in Dupont Circle during the Capital Pride Parade. The police are assessing the situation and will make a determination of how best to proceed.”

The page wrote: “Please stay calm and get to safety.” The page also wrote, “The parade has ended. Be safe. The police is on site and the threat has been contained” and “The parade has ended. The Block Party on 15th And P St. is still happening as well as City Winery. The police asks that everyone on Dupont Circle evacuates. Be safe. The police is on site and the threat has been contained.”

The organization Pride Fund wrote on Twitter: “BREAKING: Reports of shots fired and injuries at DC gay Pride Parade. Mass panic as crowd disperses quickly. Heavy police presence responding. This as the 3rd anniversary of the Pulse shooting approaches next week.”

Reports of shots fired or a shooting erupted on social media on the evening of June 8, 2019. Sometimes such reports end up being false alarms.

People reported hearing what they thought were shots:

There Were Reports of a Stampede as People Fled in Panic

On Twitter, people reported a stampede at the parade as people responded to possible gunshots and ran in a panic:

“My brother was marching in the #DCPride parade when people heard something similar to gunshots. People now running and taking cover,” wrote Mark Stitz, KMTV meteorologist.

People let friends know that they were safe.

This post will be updated as more is learned about the possible shooting at DC Pride.