Seven people have been taken to hospital after a man with a gun sparked mass panic at the Washington Pride Parade.
Hundreds of people were gathered at the Dupont Circle in Washington DC for the parade when people started running after hearing what they thought was a gunshot.
People trampled down barricades at the Capital Pride Parade at around 7.20pm on Saturday.
Police said some of the people who ran sustained minor injuries and others transported to hospitals.
Commander Guillermo Rivera said: ‘As the officers were going to the scene, there was a crowd of people going away from it and some of the individuals in the crowd said there was a man with a gun and that someone had fired a shot.’
The man was taken into custody and is facing a gun possession charge, he said.
Deputy mayor for public safety Kevin Donahue tweeted there was ‘no active shooter’ as the crowds dispersed.
He wrote: ‘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.’
Mayor Muriel Bowser tweeted that she had been briefed by police and there were ‘no shots fired’.
She said fire department personnel were ‘on the scene to treat minor injuries / due to reports of a shooting’.
Elizabeth Hernandez, 19, was among those celebrating LGBTQ pride in the city when she said she heard ‘pop, pop’ and suddenly barricades were being tossed over and a crowd of people starting running frantically from the area.
‘Everything fell and everyone said “run!”,’ said Hernandez, of Falls Church, Virginia.
She ran down the street and was pushed into a restaurant, where she went into a bathroom with a group of fellow revellers.
Ashley Smith, the president of Capital Pride Alliance, which puts on the event, said he saw people running toward him from Dupont Circle.
He said: ‘We cannot allow this incident, until we know all the facts of it, we cannot allow this incident to ruin the pride celebration going on this weekend.
‘We’re very focused on wanting to make sure we continue to have a great event for the rest of the weekend.’
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