Gunman Scare at Barclays Center Causes Crowd Stampede, Ten Injured

Barclays Center
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Barclays Center
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Photo Credit: Matthew LeJune

Ten people were injured at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn when a loud noise incited panic, sending people running as they tried to escape what they thought was a gunman.

After a boxing match between Gervonta Davis and Rolando Romero, crowds left the Barclays Center in Brooklyn at around 1 am. They then heard a loud noise on the street outside the arena, which people feared might have been made by gunshots. Frantic, people started running, with dozens rushing back into the venue.

26-year-old Amanjot Kaur reported hearing the sounds as she was leaving the Barclays Center and that someone screamed there was a person with a gun. As the ensuing panic led the crowd to swell toward the exits, Kaur was knocked down and trampled.

“I thought I was gone for,” says Kaur. “I thought I was going to run out of breath.”

Kaur’s brother-in-law was able to pull her from the crowd, and they ran for the exit, but not before her knees were bruised and bleeding from the mass of people stepping on her.

A police investigation determined that while they could not definitively say what had caused the noise, it was not gunshots. A police spokesman reported that local hospitals treated the ten people who suffered minor injuries in the ensuing commotion.

Ryan Songalia, a reporter for boxing magazine The Ring, says that the fight had ended, and only media and production workers remained in the arena at the time of the incident. As he was preparing his story about the match, suddenly, droves of people ran back into the building. Songalia assumed a brawl had broken out until he saw the terror in people’s eyes.

“They looked like they were running for their lives,” he says. “We live in this country, and there have been a lot of bad headlines recently. I thought our worst fears would be realized.”

Crouching behind cover with other reporters while they listened for the sound of gunshots, Songalia said they discussed whether to make a run for the exit.

After a string of mass shootings in recent weeks, scares like the Barclays Center incident are unsurprising. Less than a week ago, a gunman massacred 19 children and two teachers at a Texas elementary school. Earlier in the month, a gunman killed ten people in a Buffalo supermarket in a racist slaughter. In April, 23 people were injured on a Brooklyn subway train as a gunman opened fire.