Rochester NY Armory: Crowd pushing during concert apparently leaves 2 dead and 8 injured
A second person died “as a result of a large crowd pushing” at a concert Sunday night in Rochester, New York, police confirmed.
The victim, who was not named by police Monday evening, was one of two women who were in critical condition at Strong Memorial Hospital following the incident.
A 33-year-old woman was the first reported death in the stampede. Eight other people were injured.
Police initially responded to a report of shots fired at the home Event venue Main Street Armory during a concert around 11:05 PM
Officers found several injured people inside but saw no evidence of a shooting, Rochester police said.
“On further investigation… none of the injuries sustained by any of the victims were consistent with a person being shot,” said Lieutenant Nicholas Adams of the Rochester Police Department.
“The injuries appear to be the result of a large crowd pushing for the exits after accounts from individuals who heard what they believed were gunshots.”
Atiya Holley left 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. When everyone tried to get out again, it got crazy,” said Holley.
According to Holley, several people began running for the main and emergency exits.
“I didn’t know where to go so I went through an emergency exit at the side of the room. Then I was pushed down the stairs and my sister had to pick me up off the floor. After that, we just kept running to the parking lot,” Holley said. There, she said, she saw injured concertgoers.
The tragedy follows a series of deadly crowds at entertainment events.
In 2021, eight people died at the Astroworld music festival in Houston.
Last fall, 158 people were killed in a crowd during Halloween festivities in a nightlife district of Seoul, South Korea.
Authorities in Rochester have not publicly identified the deceased woman.
Two of the nine injured were in “critical, life-threatening condition,” police said. The other seven people had non-life-threatening injuries.
It is “too early to say what triggered the event,” Rochester Mayor Malik Evans said Monday.
“You don’t expect to be trampled,” the mayor said at a concert, saying the tragedy “breaks my heart” and is “totally unacceptable.”
Police are questioning concertgoers and security officers, Rochester Police Chief David Smith said. Researchers are also working with fire chiefs to determine the number of concertgoers relative to the capacity of the venue.
The venue, with a maximum capacity of 5,000 people, is “current and compliant” with all fire codes, according to a statement released Monday afternoon by the City of Rochester.
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 stationed outside the building, which is why the police arrived so quickly, according to the statement. Those officers were placed there at the request of the site, which paid for their services.
The investigation is in its early stages, and police are asking anyone who has video of what emerged, Smith said.
Rapper GloRilla, who performed at the venue on Sunday night, offered prayers for those affected.
“I’m just now hearing what happened… I pray everyone is okay,” she said tweeted.