July 05, 2022

Orlando police say shooting panic at Lake Eola 4th of July fireworks show was caused by fireworks

Thousands of Orlando residents fled a fireworks show at Lake Eola yesterday, after a crowd panic was set off by fireworks.

Videos from the scene show waves of people sprinting away from the lakefront, believing that a gun had been fired. Orlando Police tweeted that no evidence of a shooting was found and they believe the sound that triggered the rush was fireworks from within the crowd.

"At this time, it appears that a noise during the fireworks show confused some spectators, causing the reaction. No serious injuries have been reported. Only minor injuries suffered by some spectators who fell during the commotion," the police department shared on Twitter.

The crowd's jumpiness is understandable, as a Fourth of July parade in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park turned deadly earlier in the day. In that case, police believe 22-year-old Robert E. Crimo III fired onto the parade from a nearby roof, killing six people and injuring many more with rapid bursts of gunfire. A similar crowd panic occurred last night in Philadelphia following gunshots.

Of course, Orlando has its own history of indiscriminate gun violence. Just over six years ago, a shooting at Pulse nightclub claimed 49 lives. At the time it was the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, an unfortunate title that it held for less than two years.

Needless to say, thousands of people being so on edge that fireworks at a fireworks show can send them sprinting into the night is something worth commenting on. Social media users did just that, sharing reactions and videos in real time.
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