Australian AFLW and WNBA star Erin Phillips said she fled in “complete fear” after being caught up in a panic at a pride parade in Washington DC.
A man threatened another person with a BB gun during the annual Capital Pride parade on Saturday US time.
The incident caused a panic that sent hundreds of people running in fear after false reports of an “active shooter”, police said.
Authorities confirmed no gunshots were fired but hundreds of people fled the area in a panic.
They tipped over metal police barricades and ran into nearby stores, fearing a gunman.
Erin Phillips (pictured above left) wrote on Twitter she was just metres from the incident and “ran and hid with the thousands of others in complete fear”.
“I was only about 100m from a suspected shooting at the DC Pride parade,” the athlete tweeted.
“How has the world come to this? The world my kids will grow up in.”
Seven people went to local hospitals for injuries they suffered while fleeing, police said.
Police arrest man over the incident
Police arrested Aftabjit Singh on weapons possession and disorderly conduct charges after the incident, AP reported.
Singh allegedly pulled the silver BB gun on another person who was “hitting on his significant other”, according to police.
People in the crowd pointed out Singh to police and told them he had a gun in his bag, which was in fact a BB gun.
As he was led away in handcuffs, Singh vowed to come back and shoot a particular person, police said.
I was here and am extremely shook. The fact that everyone at #DCPride was already conditioned to be victim to a mass shooting at any moment is exactly why America needs stricter gun laws. We can’t live like this pic.twitter.com/4pWj5IbwX1
— Trey (@treyrhawkins) June 9, 2019
Capital Pride organisers shut down the parade after the incident.
But they said they wouldn’t allow the incident to ruin the pride celebrations, and all the other events would continue.
Pride Month celebration are underway in the US this month, including the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots.
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