Gun shot rumors during Canalside fireworks sent people into panic, police say no evidence of actual shooting

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Fireworks at Canalside were 40 minutes late Monday night. They were supposed to begin at 10 pm but didn’t start until 10:40 pm, then about halfway through the show rumors of shots fired sent many people into a state of panic.

“We had a large crowd on the outskirts of the park perimeter area that started to scatter from the area because of that report we had about 10 minutes of minor issues that were quickly dealt with,” said Chief Joseph Gramaglia, Buffalo Police.

Buffalo Police say they did not find anything that indicated there was actually a shooting at Canalside. They say the unconfirmed report came from within the Lloyd Street area. They’re still looking into where it came from and how it started.

“We worked in conjunction with the NFTA police, the Canalside private security and the Buffalo Peacemakers, we were able to deal with any minor issues that came up,” said Gramaglia.

Police say there were some minor fights and a few disorderly conduct type arrests earlier in the evening, but say that’s not out of the ordinary for a crowd of over 20 thousand people. Canalside officials worked with federal, state, county, city and private partners to provide security for the event. Police say there are plans in place to deal with emergency situations.

“We have multiple egress points there are areas all around so it’s not in what we would call a confined space where you only have a couple avenues of getting out of the area. So in the event of some sort of emergency whatever that might be there are multiple areas and multiple directions that people could go to safety,” said Gramaglia.

In a statement the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation Chairman said that Canalside will be developing an enhanced security plan with buffalo police to further minimize incidents are future major events.

Over 20 thousand people were at Canalside, which can hold up to 25 thousand people. Police say there were no injuries yesterday and minor fights were dealt with quickly. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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