'Gunshots' at Airport May Have Been Noise From Olympics Fans

Report of shots fired caused chaos at JFK
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 15, 2016 12:33 AM CDT
Port Authority police officers on patrol at JFK.   (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

(Newser) – These are tense times, so it's no surprise that reports of shots fired at New York City's JFK Airport caused chaos Sunday night: Two terminals were evacuated, an NYPD anti-terror unit rushed to the airport, and flights were stopped on the ground or diverted after shots were reported at around 9:30pm, the New York Daily News reports. But authorities found no evidence that any shots had been fired, and a police source tells NBC New York that the alarm may have been raised when a woman coming off a plane mistook cheering, shouting, and banging from people watching the Olympics as a fight and gunshots.

Witnesses described scenes of panic as the order to evacuate the terminals was given and even TSA staff began to run. Police sources say a few other reports of gunshots came in around the same time—which matches up with the time Usain Bolt won an amazing third Olympic gold in the 100 meters. "At this time, no firearm, rounds, shell casings, or other evidence of shots fired has been found," a Port Authority spokesman told reporters early Monday. The Guardian reports that after travel delays for thousands of people, officials gave the all-clear and flights from JFK resumed around midnight. (Read more JFK Airport stories.)

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