People Panic Over Nothing At All At Fireworks

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As is tradition, the annual International Freedom Festival fireworks show over the Detroit River Monday evening was spectacular. And as is, unfortunately, becoming a tradition, people literally panicked at the prospect that someone could have been shot at the fireworks. Even though no shots were actually fired and, but for an isolated incident nearly 10 years ago, the fireworks are about as safe as any event that crams that many people together in one place.

Freep: The night had a heavy police presence with officers aggressively enforcing a 6 p.m. curfew for minors; about 200 were rounded up for violations at the event, said Detroit Police Sgt. Eren Stephens. Fear of a shooting at one point during the night had people in the crowd rushing to leave but Stephens said there is no confirmation of a shooting.

The thing about fireworks night is those loud explosive noises you hear really are fireworks, people. Now, really, fireworks attendees mistook the sound of fireworks for gunshots.

WXYZ: Police officers told 7 Action News the chaos began when people started screaming that shots had been fired near Congress and Woodward, two blocks north of Hart Plaza.

[DPD Deputy Chief James] Tolbert says that the sounds from the fireworks display on the river reverberated off the buildings downtown. He says police believe that the people may have mistaken those sounds for gunshots and that triggered a panic that spread through the crowd.

For all our collective bluster about how tough and gritty we all are because we're from Detroit, we sure don't act like it sometimes.

Read more:  Detroit Free Press
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