Panic over 'gunfire' at DC pride parade sends people running

Officials in Washington say several people were injured after a panic at the LGBTQ pride parade sent people running through the streets

An Indian-American was arrested in the USA for threatening a person with a BB gun and causing a stampede during an LGBTQ pride parade here, leaving several people injured as hundreds of participants fled in panic fearing a mass shooter.

Hundreds of people ran for cover after mistakenly believing gunshots were fired, 7 were taken to hospitals after being injured in the chaos. Aftabjit Singh faces charges including possession of a BB gun, carrying a risky weapon, and disorderly conduct.

The police arrested him and seized his BB gun - a type of air gun created to shoot metallic ball projectiles - from his brown bag. The parade featured floats and vehicles, organizers said.

The defendant allegedly said he pulled out the B.B. gun because someone hit his significant other.

As the officers got closer, someone in the crowd pointed to Singh and said he had a gun in his bag. "In the partially open bag, Maio reported he saw what appeared to be a silver handgun", the news report said. "There is no evidence that any shots were fired, but that's under investigation", Rivera said, according to the Washington Blade.

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Police spokesperson Jordan identified the second arrested person as Melissa Duffy, 43, of no fixed address. "Suspect 1 kicked Victim 1 in the chest and right arm causing the listed injuries", it says. The Fire Service confirmed treating seven people for injuries sustained when they were trampled or knocked over as people tried to flee the area.

It was not immediately clear whether Singh had an attorney who could comment on the allegations.

The man, named in U.S. media as Aftabjit Singh, allegedly sent the crowd running through the streets of Washington, DC, on Saturday after wielding what appeared to be a gun.

"I'll be back", the defendant allegedly said during the arrest. Capital Pride officials said on Saturday night that the annual Capital Pride Festival and concert on Pennsylvania Avenue near the U.S. Capitol took place as scheduled on Sunday.

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