Fans were leaving GloRilla‘s concert at Main Street Armory just after 11 p.m. Sunday when they may have heard gunfire, causing an apparent panic, Rochester police said.
“The crowd began to surge and rush toward the exits,” Police Chief David M. Smith said Monday.
The police department said in a statement that no evidence of gunfire or other violence has been found, but Smith said the claims were under investigation. He said Rochester officials were also looking into the concert crowd size and the possibility that pepper spray may have triggered the surge.
Investigators hope concertgoers’ photos and video might help them determine what took place, police said.
Officers had to stage outside because crowds were still exiting, Smith said. They remained there until “they were eventually able to make their way inside,” he said at the news conference.
Sunday night’s incident is the latest fatal crowd surge at a concert in the U.S. In 2021, 10 people were killed in a massive crowd rush at a show by the rapper Travis Scott.
Previously, Attorney Bob Hilliard and civil rights attorney Ben Crump represented numerous victims injured in the tragic crowd surge at Astroworld in Houston, Texas, in 2021.
The Astroworld event took place on Friday, November 5, 2021, during a sold-out, two-day event in NRG Park with an estimated attendance of 50,000 people. As entertainer Travis Scott took the stage, the crowd rushed through security to watch him perform. One witness stated, “As soon as he jumped on the stage, it was like an energy took over and everything went haywire.” And described the crowd surge as “all of a sudden, your ribs are being crushed. You have someone’s arm in your neck. You’re trying to breathe, but you can’t.”
According to nbcnews.com, in reference to this recent event at the Rochester GloRilla concert, crowd expert Paul Wertheimer has said that incidents in which people are killed or hurt by the sheer collective force of concertgoers have a few elements in common: free-roaming festival seating, a trigger such as gunfire or a countdown, poor planning and poor crowd-flow management.
He said initial reports often label the events as stampedes, but they are almost always cases of people’s being crushed as they stand because too many people are in not enough space. Concertgoers do go down, he said, which he calls “crowd collapse.”
If you or a loved one have sustained injuries from a crowd rushing event at a concert, and are seeking compensation for damages, contact a Hilliard Law Personal Injury attorney as soon as possible.