New York, Did boisterous celebrations over an Olympic victory by the world's fastest man lead to a false alarm about gunfire and a panicked evacuation of Kennedy Airport?
That's one of the possibilities police were exploring Monday as they reviewed security camera footage and interviewed witnesses about the chain-reaction scare that rippled through two airport terminals Sunday night in the minutes after Usain Bolt sprinted to a gold medal victory in the 100-meter dash.
An internal New York Police Department briefing document, obtained by The Associated Press, said a preliminary video review showed that some travelers had started to act "extremely disruptive" while watching the Olympics on televisions in Terminal 8.
That set off a chain reaction, with other people running away from the commotion, the document said.
Then, at 9:34 p.m., about seven minutes after Bolt's run, police received an anonymous 911 call from a woman reporting gunshots in the terminal.
It isn't clear how the celebration might have come to be misinterpreted a few minutes later as gunshots.
Investigators were also unsure exactly how the commotion spread across the airport campus to Terminal 1, where rumors about a shooter, combined with the sound of alarms and sight of armed police, convinced some people that an attack was underway.
Albert Salas, 31, a freelance cinematographer, said when he heard a series of loud bangs at Terminal 1 at about 10:10 p.m. while waiting for a flight to London, he was sure they were gunshots.
"People started running and yelling, and some threw themselves on the floor," he said.
Salas began recording video with his mobile phone. It captured screams, people dashing for the exits, and a team of police officers sweeping through the terminal, guns drawn, shouting at people to get down.
"They were asking, has anybody seen the shooter?" Salas said.
No one had, because none existed, police said. No guns, shell casings or spent rounds were recovered. No witnesses actually reported seeing someone with a gun.