DETROIT (WWJ) – The annual Detroit fireworks are in the books, but not before some scary moments for people near Hart Plaza.
Unconfirmed reports of gunfire during the show sent people running from the area, many of them falling down in the rush to get away. Among those headed home just 10 minutes into the fireworks was Billy James of Detroit, who was there with his children.
“We heard the officers say that shots was fired and everybody just started running, man. We was right down at the waterfront, and the police started running from the river, and I heard them on the radio saying shots was fired. So, I just grabbed my kids and we on our way out of here,” he said.
A man who only identified himself as Dave from Howell described the situation as somewhat of a panic.
“Police were responding ‘Shots fired, shots fired.’ They were running toward the location and then all of a sudden, thousands of people started running in all directions,” he said.
Christine Prince of Detroit was in Hart Plaza with her six-year-old son, David, when people started running.
“We assume it was gunshots as soon as we saw a big mob of people running,” she said. “People were literally falling, jumping over fences and getting trampled – so I was just trying to make sure the little one didn’t get hurt … I grabbed him and we ran. We were just trying to have a good time with your kids, family fun, and you have to be subjected to that — disappointed.”
An undetermined number of people were injured in the rush to leave the area, including Jodi Harper’s daughter.
“Easily, 100 people just bum rushed the area I was at. I was closest to the riverfront, so they just kind of bum rushed that area,” he said.
Detroit police say there was no confirmation of any gunfire.
In addition, there are reports that police nabbed hundreds of young people on curfew violations. We are awaiting a final number from police.