The incident just before 10 p.m. led people to believe it was gunshots. People began to run and even shelter in stores.
There were no shots fired, but the loud noise did cause a great deal of alarm following the mass shootings over the weekend in El Paso and Dayton.
"All of a sudden I heard this kind of muffled pop and said, 'What was that?,' and I looked over and there was just a sea of people running," said witness Dylan Probert. "I had one or two seconds to think, 'Is this really happening?'"
The NYPD received multiple 911 calls but tweeted that there was no active shooter, saying, "Please don't panic. The Times Square area is very safe!"
There is no #ActiveShooter in #TimesSquare. Motorcycles backfiring while passing through sounded like gun shots.— NYPD Midtown North (@NYPDMTN) August 7, 2019
We are recieving multiple 911 calls. Please don’t panic. The Times Square area is very safe! @NYPDnews @NYPDTimesSquare
According to a customer, the Disney store directed customers to the back as a precautionary measure.
At the Disney Store in Times Square when a backfiring motorcycle was mistaken for gunfire. Staff kept all customers safe and were clearly well prepared. pic.twitter.com/e4A38Fzjw6— Jasper Lam (@JasperLam_TD) August 7, 2019
People fleeing and hiding from #timessquare after suspected live shooter #NewYork we caught this from our hotel bar 10th floor #police confirmed this was not a live shooter #timessquare #NYC pic.twitter.com/IKfagFbtzy— The Daniels Group (@DanielsGrp) August 7, 2019
FDNY says nine people had minor injuries. Of those, six were taken to area hospitals.