Was the Times Square stampede caused by a biker with a tricked-out motorcycle?
That's what cops want to know after pandemonium broke out at in the area Tuesday as hundreds ran for their lives after hearing what they feared were gunshots. Footage captured by EarthCam showed the mass exodus.
Cops say the panic was a false alarm caused by a motorcycle backfiring, but it have not been any ordinary backfire. The exhaust on a motorcycle can be modified to make it louder, sounding like rapid gunfire.
NYPD confirmed to Inside Edition that they are looking into whether the exhaust on the motorcycle that triggered the panic in Times Square had been modified to make it sound like gunshots.
Mufflers can also be modified on cars to produce the same effect.
Andrew Rosa runs Rosa's Cycle Shop in Huntington on New York’s Long Island.
“It can sound like a high-powered rifle, one of these semi-automatics,” he said.
Rosa explained why someone would want to trick their bike out to sound like that.
"They want them loud and to be heard to possibly avoid an accident out there, and they also want them loud to hear the engine and enhance the performance and make them go faster," he said.
But it's something that might want to be avoided in the current climate.
Robert Sinclair, of the AAA, added, "We are all very sensitive right now, and we have to keep that in mind going forward that if we are making these kinds of modifications, we have to be aware that it could lead to some bad situation."