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'I Never Really Experienced That': False Gun Scare Prompts Stampede, Chaotic Start To Roots Picnic

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Roots Picnic got off to a rocky start Saturday night at Fairmount Park after a gun scare resulted in several people hospitalized. Five people were injured in a stampede after police say a person falsely claimed they had a gun shortly after 6:30 p.m.

Police say four of the five people injured were minors and one of them suffered a broken leg.

"It was scary. Everybody just started running from one side of the area and they came trembling," Dewan Williams Clark, a witness, said.

roots picnic running - zack porter
(Credit: Zack Porter)

"It was scary, I never really experienced that," Williams Clark said.

Aside from that disturbance, the 2019 Roots Picnic turned out to be the biggest one yet, churning out more than 25,000 attendees.

Questlove and Black Thought, making up The Roots, took center stage as the headliner for the 12th annual Roots Picnic.

For the first time, it was away from the water and more like a real picnic – at Fairmount Park.

"I just like the vibes, all of the beautiful people that came out," Kezia Harewood, an attendee, said. "The real music lovers, everyone just enjoying themselves. That's what I like."

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Earlier, rapper Lil Baby took center stage and fans rocked out to singer Raphael Saadiq.

Water mist stations cooled fans off after spending hours out in the sun.

Ping pong was among the many games offered at the picnic, and it was a much needed break for many.

"The time away was needed," Junior Serrano, of Patterson, New Jersey, said. "Father of four kids. I need that."

There was a break in the enjoyment when the abrupt stampede occurred, leaving some fans concerned about safety.

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"They really wasn't checking backs," Talaya Middleton, an attendee, said. "So not really checking bags, just letting people in freely, I feel like it's a little bit of a different vibe from Penn's Landing to here."

"It's a wider space. I feel like they really should have had the right security to protect people," Middleton added. "There's a lot of people in here. I don't think they did a good job at all."

According to the Philadelphia Fire Department, three people were taken to area hospitals, one of them from the stampede with a broken leg.

-CBS3's Chantee Lans contributed to this report.

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