There was panic at Penn Station Friday evening after police used a Taser on what they said was a belligerent suspect in the Amtrak waiting area. Passengers at the New York City station, which was already overcrowded due to a train stalled in a tunnel, thought they had heard gunshots and fled, CNN reports. It turned into a stampede as other people saw the fleeing passengers and joined the mass exit around 6:30pm, leaving bags and other belongings scattered around the underground station, NBC 4 reports. Witnesses who got off a train as the panic began say they saw a "wave of screaming, falling people." Shoppers fled for the exits in nearby Macy's after rumors of a shooter spread there.
Anna Renzi, 24, tells the New York Daily News she was waiting with her family for a delayed train to DC at Häagen-Dazs when crowds ran by. "I thought I heard someone yell 'shooter,' that’s why I threw my nephew behind a counter and jumped over and they just had us hide in the storage closet because I had the kids," she says. "The employees were so awesome, they just had us hid there until it was safe to come out." The FDNY says fire crews who had just finished dealing with the stalled train stayed to help police deal with people injured in the stampede. The department says none of the 16 people treated had life-threatening injuries.