Fights break out after person sprays mace into crowd at SF Pride stage, organizers say

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Monday, June 27, 2022
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San Francisco's Pride Festival was interrupted Sunday when a fight broke out, ensuing panic as crowd ran from what they thought was an active shooting

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- San Francisco's Pride Festival was temporarily interrupted Sunday when a fight broke out near Civic Center, ensuing panic as crowd ran from what they thought was an active shooting.

Video taken by a social media user in a nearby building shows a large group of onlookers while revelers danced nearby.

Officers responded to the area of 7th St and Market Street at the around 5:25 p.m. Police say they were unable to locate any victims or witnesses, adding that there is no evidence of a shooting that took place during Sunday's festivities.

The festival ended at 6 p.m. and SFPD says they resolved any incidents of fighting, but for some of the party-goers it was an upsetting experience.

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"We were on the hip hop side of the stage and there were a couple of groups fighting in numerous different places, and everyone started running. Someone said that they were shooting and the whole crowd just started running," said a bystander. "People started ducking and get behind stuff. Then the police let off tear gas and then everyone started running again."

San Francisco Pride tweeted that an individual was spraying mace into the crowd at the Kaiser Permanente main stage. No one was hurt, but the performance was cut short.

Heavy police presence responded to break up fights and disperse the crowd. Police said they were trying to track down the suspect who sprayed the mace.

"My face, my eyes, my mouth, throat, I couldn't breathe," said one woman who was attending the events at the Civic Center, noting momentary panic put a damper on the otherwise peaceful return of Pride. "I thought so, I was enjoying myself, but this is what happens.

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Love was in the air for the 2022 Pride Parade and Celebration in San Francisco on Sunday, June 26, 2022. (KGO-TV/Leonard Torres)
KGO-TV/Leonard Torres

Despite the incident, most people saying they were just happy to be there.

"It's so exciting. We've been in COVID, we've been locked down, restricted of some of our privileges. I'm just excited that we can reunite and have fun and continue our traditions," said Sacramento resident Monique Gloria.

Overall, the Pride celebrations were a safe event and for many the experience of a life time.

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