A 33-year-old woman is dead and nine others are injured “as a result of a large crowd pushing” during a concert Sunday night in Rochester, New York, police said.
Police initially responded to a report of shots fired inside the Main Street Armory event venue during a concert around 11:05 p.m.
Officers found several people injured inside but saw no evidence of a shooting, Rochester police said.
“Upon further investigation … none of the injuries sustained to any of the victims were consistent with a person being shot,” Rochester police Lt. Nicholas Adams said.
“The injuries appear to be as a result of a large crowd pushing towards the exits following accounts of individuals hearing what they believed to be gunshots.”
Atiya Holley was leaving the concert with her sister when she got caught up in the deadly stampede, she told CNN.
She heard what sounded like muffled gunshots outside the venue, she said.
“It sounded like they were shooting outside, so everyone started running back in. Then when everyone tried to exit again it got crazy,” Holley said.
Several people started running toward the main and emergency exits, According to Holley.
“I didn’t know where to go so I went through an emergency exit on the side of the venue. That’s when I was pushed down the stairs and my sister had to pick me up from the ground. We just kept running to the parking lot after that,” Holley said. There, she said, she saw injured concertgoers.
The tragedy follows a series of deadly crowd surges at entertainment events.
In 2021, eight people died at the Astroworld music festival in Houston.
Last fall, 158 people were killed in a crush of people during Halloween festivities in a nightlife district of Seoul, South Korea.
Authorities in Rochester have not publicly identified the woman who died.
Two of the nine people hurt were in “critical, life-threatening condition,” police said. The other seven people had non-life-threatening injuries.
It’s “too early to say what precipitated the event,” Rochester Mayor Malik Evans said Monday.
“You do not expect to be trampled,” at a concert, the mayor said, saying the tragedy “breaks my heart” and is “totally unacceptable.”
Police are interviewing concertgoers and security agents, Rochester Police Chief David Smith said. Investigators are also working with fire marshals to help determine the number of concertgoers in relation to the venue’s capacity.
The venue, which has a 5,000 person maximum capacity, is “current and compliant” with all fire codes, according to a statement released by the City of Rochester Monday afternoon.
The Main Street Armory has two city code violations, one involving an unapproved business operation at the rear of the property and an unapproved “dwelling unit” the statement said.
Eight Rochester police officers were posted outside the building, which is why police were on the scene so quickly, according to the statement. Those officers were placed there at the request of the venue, which paid for their services.
The investigation is in its early stages, and police are asking anyone with video of what happened to come forward, Smith said.
Rapper GloRilla, who was performing at the venue Sunday night, offered prayers to those affected.
“I’m just now hearing about what happened … praying everybody is ok,” she tweeted.