NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — False reports of shots fired ignited chaos near Coney Island’s Luna Park Sunday evening.
The FDNY tells CBS2′ several people were taken to Coney Island Hospital with minor injuries.
As CBS2’s Brian Conybeare reports, thousands of people were enjoying the beautiful Easter Sunday weather when suddenly it all turned into chaos.
Video posted to social media shows the panic that unfolded after unconfirmed reports of shots fired inside the park. Witnesses say people were running and screaming in all directions trying to find some place safe to hide.
An army of police officers arrived to try and bring the situation under control. Witnesses say at least one person wound up in handcuffs, and they described a group of young men in some kind of dispute.
Glass bottles were thrown and then suddenly a large blast that resembled gunfire rang out.
“After the bottle was thrown in the air and she was hit with the bottle, about two seconds later we heard about four or five shots,” one witness told CBS2. “Right here by the Cyclone and we saw a whole group running towards the boardwalk.”
“People running, children, families, with agonizing faces in agony saying ‘run, run, run. There’s a man with a gun’,” witness Ruben Suazo said. “We don’t know what’s happening. We’re enjoying the evening and next thing you know people are jumping on one another.”
At least one woman was hit with a bottle. She was treated in the back of an ambulance after the incident calmed down.
Luna Park was forced to close early Sunday because of the chaotic incident. Disappointed families filed out around 9 p.m., three hours before the scheduled midnight closing time.
“All the rides are closed,” patron Lisa Gonzales said. “Nothing to do, we bought tickets for nothing. It sucks!”
Late Sunday the NYPD’s 60th Precinct tweeted that any reports of shots fired in the area Sunday were incorrect. In a statement sent to CBS2, a spokesman from Luna Park acknowledged that the reports of gun shots near the amusement park were false and “caused panic and confusion in the surrounding area.”
“The entire Coney Island community regrets that this incident occurred,” the statement continued. “Luna Park resumed regular operation following a brief disruption.”