Chaos at D.C. Pride Allegedly Caused By Man With A BB Gun

Only a few people were injured, though not by the BB gun.

The Washington, D.C. Pride celebration was interrupted this weekend after someone was spotted with a gun and some people believed they heard gunshots. After several scary moments of chaos, it was determined the “gun” was a BB gun and there was no active threat. Despite no present threat, several people were injured by stampeding crowds attempting to flee the area.

Shortly after the incident, Muriel Bowser, the Mayor of D.C., attempted to quell the panic by saying that no shots had actually been fired. D.C. Police Commander Guillermo Rivera backed up the Mayor’s statement by saying in a press conference that evening that they “had officers close by, and at this point there’s no evidence of any gunshots.”

Now, we are learning the underlying cause of the panic: a man with a silver-colored bb gun in a paper bag allegedly pulled the weapon on another man for allegedly assaulting the first man’s girlfriend. Bystanders alerted police, who approached the man and took him and his girlfriend into custody. No shots were fired from the BB gun.

Several witnesses told police that they thought they heard gunshots, and the police are now investigating to find the source of any noises witnesses could have heard. Officers who were stationed near the vent did not hear gunshots. During many of the videos of the chaos, you can see metal barricades being pushed to the ground as pride attendees fled, and some are speculating that the sound of the barricades hitting the ground may have sounded like gunshots.

The panic ended the parade, but the after-parade block party went on as planned in an effort to not let pride be ruined by the BB gun episode. Pride attendees were, regardless, understandably shaken.
Pastor and author Emily C. Heath summed up many’s feelings on the D.C. Pride BB gun incident with a post on Twitter, “Even if it turns out no shots were fired at #dcpride that doesn’t mean real trauma didn’t just occur. LGBTQ people live in fear of something like this happening every day. To run because you think your life is in danger is traumatic.” 


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