New York NY April 16 2017 Crowds fled a jam-packed Penn Station on Friday evening in a chaotic scene sparked by what people thought was a gunshot, but what turned out to be police using a Taser while making an arrest.
Tourists, commuters and New Yorkers alike were hiding behind garbage cans, diving behind pillars and leaving behind belongings as they scrambled to escape the calamity.
The FDNY said 13 people were treated for non-life-threatening injuries after the stampede.
Multiple law enforcement sources say Amtrak Police deployed a Taser to subdue and arrest an
NBC 4 News video shows police hauling away a man in handcuffs. Amtrak Police said two people were taken into custody for disobeying orders at the station and that a Taser was used in one of the incidents.
Tensions were already high at the busy station after a NJ Transit train got stuck in a Hudson River tunnel, leading to cancellations and delays for NJ Transit, Amtrak and LIRR trains. Trains were still using one track between New York and New Jersey when the commotion broke out.
Fear spread through the Amtrak waiting area around 6:30 p.m. as police used a Taser as they tried to arrest a man. Some people thought the pop of the Taser was a gun. Others ran for their lives, unsure of what others were fleeing.
In the panic, people left bags and other belongings behind. Clothing, food, books and even golf clubs, phones and laptops littered the Amtrak area of the station moments after crowds fled. Other people tripped and fell as they scrambled for the exits.
"People were dropping luggage, kids, everybody was just running," one witness said. "Everybody was really scared. It was a stampede."
Some people were screaming, others crying, as they left the station. Those still inside the waiting area stood around in shock or relief as the mayhem began to subside.
Rumors of an active shooter made their way to Macy's, where people were seen fleeing out of the front of the store after hearing a loud bang.
NYPD Counterterrorism tweeted that multiple reports of "shots fired" near Macy's were unfounded.