Tennis star Naomi Osaka was left “petrified” after hearing what she believed to be gunshots outside the Barclays Center, while attending the Gervonta Davis vs Rolando Romero boxing fight.
Osaka said she was forced to “huddle in a room and close the doors” as people believed the shooting to be taking place inside the venue.
“I was just in the Barclays Center and suddenly I heard shouting and saw people running, then we were being yelled at that there was an active shooter and we had to huddle in a room and close the doors, I was so fu**ing petrified man.”
However, Sports Illustrated Reporter Chris Mannix, who was also at the venue, tweeted that many people soon rushed back into the venue upon discovering that the shooting was allegedly taking place outside.
“No shots were fired inside Barclays,” he said. “Whatever happened took place just outside the building.
“Crowd that was headed for the exits immediately starts rushing back into the arena,” he added.
“Frightening moments. Hundreds of fans started to rush back into the arena from the concourse. People – including media –– ducking for cover.”
Osaka escapes unharmed
Thankfully, Osaka made it out of the arena unharmed, but took to Twitter to stress her concern for others in the arena.
“I really hope everyone made it out safely,” she wrote. “Since I’m tweeting this, we made it out ok.”
Stampede inside the Barclays Center
According to many who were at the arena, a stampede ensued when people attempted to re-enter the building.
ESPN boxing correspondent Mike Coppinger wrote: “A Barclays Center security supervisor told ESPN there was a person with a gun in the main plaza that led to a stampede back into the arena. Multiple people transported to hospital. Official estimated approximately a dozen injuries. Among them: a concussion and an elbow injury.”
NYPD detective Adam Navarro tells ESPN “there was no gun whatsoever.” Not sure what the sound was that scared so many people into thinking there was a gun fired https://t.co/aqKMbzOw5P— Mike Coppinger (@MikeCoppinger) May 29, 2022
New York Police Department say shooter report is “innacurate”
Speaking to the New York Post, an NYPD spokesperson said reports of an active shooter were “innacurate.”
They stated: “It’s a large crowd condition. No shots fired. No one shot outside the Barclay’s Center,” the spokesperson said.”
Scary moment as crowds pour back into Barclays Center, my fear was a shooting but those fears proved unfounded. pic.twitter.com/pcBdfwWplt— Ryan Songalia (@ryansongalia) May 29, 2022
Davis beats Romero to retain title
While the fight was overshadowed by the frightening events that unfolded, it was Davis who retained his WBA lightweight title with a sixth-round stoppage of fellow American Romero.
The unbeaten Ryan Garcia, who was ringside, has now challenged Davis to a fight in December.