ARKANSAS: False Gunman Report Sparks Mass Panic, Empties Football Stadium, Game Canceled [VIDEO]

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports:

A fight at Little Rock’s War Memorial Stadium during the Salt Bowl high school football game Saturday night set off a panic that sent fans running for the exits, ending the game early.

Little Rock police spokesman Steve Moore said no shots were fired, but a fight among teenagers during the third quarter knocked over a barricade, causing confusion when people attending the game mistook the sound for gunshots.

The annual rivalry game between Benton and Bryant high schools drew a record 38,215 people, officials said. After the melee, some people were in tears, while others ran to hug people they’d been separated from in the confusion. Some people called loved ones. reports:

News reports later confirmed that two people had been taken out of the stadium on stretchers. It wasn’t immediately clear whether they were injured in the fight, or whether they were hurt in the stampede when people tried to flee the stadium.

A witness named Anita said afterwards that a fight had broken out five rows behind where she was sitting. She said the fight then “moved over” two sections. And then, people in the crowd started yelling, “gun!” After that, Anita said, “hell broke loose.” As rumors of a gunman spread, the crowd of 38,000 people panicked, and rushed for the exits.

The Bryant Hornets were in the lead, 28-14. There were just over 9 minutes left in the third quarter. Saline Courier Sports is reporting that according to the rules, that makes the Hornets the winner, since half the game was over and they were ahead.