“Please don’t panic!” Motorcycles backfiring spark shooting scare in Times Square

Thousands of tourists in New York’s Times Square were seen running for their lives after hearing what they thought were gunshots overnight.

The panic unfolded just after 10.00pm on Tuesday, when a number of motorcycles passing through the area backfired.

Video footage from the packed tourist hub showed thousands of people running in fear as they believed there may have been an active shooter in the area.


However, police took to Twitter a short time later to reassure everyone that they were safe.

“There is no #ActiveShooter in #TimesSquare,” the NYPD said.

“Motorcycles backfiring while passing through sounded like gun shots. We are recieving multiple 911 calls. Please don’t panic. The Times Square area is very safe!”

It comes just days after 31 people were killed in two mass shootings in Texas and Ohio.