- Protesters at the March for Our Lives rally in Washington, DC, were turned away by a shooting incident.
- A man in the crowd was heard by witnesses yelling that he had a gun, The Daily Beast reported.
- One person has been arrested in connection with the incident; American Park Police said there was no danger to the public.
Protesters at the March for Our Lives rally protesting in support of gun law reform were turned away on Saturday by a shooting incident.
The crowd gathered in what one witness described as a “near stampede” after a man was heard shouting by several witnesses that he had a gun, the Daily Beast reported.
“We heard commotion and yelling and suddenly someone yelled, ‘Everyone, get down,’ and I’m not sure if that was from security or from another person in the crowd,” Brandon Farbstein, an activist who attended the meeting. rally, Insider told. “But everyone literally fell down like flies in the blink of an eye. We were so terrified of what was going on, when we had no indication of what was happening.”
US Park Police have arrested and released one person in connection with the incident a statement that said, “There were no weapons involved and there is no risk to the public.”
“A participant in the rally near the stage disrupted the moment of silence. There was no danger to the public at any time,” a spokesperson for the March of Our Lives told Insider. “The person was immediately removed, the organizers acknowledged the problem with the crowd and the program is going ahead as planned.”
The shock came as protesters took part in the second March for Our Lives rally in support of gun control measures. The rally, which featured nationwide satellite protests, was staged in response to the May 24 shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, in which a gunman killed 21 and injured 17 others.
The first March for Our Lives rally was held after a mass shooting that left 17 dead and 17 others injured at a Parkland, Florida high school.
“I’m not sure which morally depraved person decided that the moment of silence for victims of school shootings was an appropriate time to start a counter-protest and scare everyone into a near stampede,” said a witness. wrote on Twitter: “But kudos to the organizers of March for our Lives for bouncing back.”
Farbstein told Insider the rally got back on track after the hiatus, but there was a palpable sense of dread among the participants after the crowds had gathered.
“It definitely brought a different level of energy to the whole audience, especially backstage. There were a lot of participants, whether they were families or students themselves, who, as you can imagine, were absolutely traumatized – not just from what they have have experienced in their past, but to experience something like that at an event where they are literally trying to prevent this kind of situation from ever happening again,” said Farbstein.
“It’s pretty mind-boggling, and it’s just a really unfortunate example of why we have to keep doing this work.”