Chaos breaks out at Gainesville prayer vigil for Israel after ‘misinterpreted’ 911 call leads to panic

A Monday night prayer vigil for the Jewish community at the University of Florida was brought to a halt when chaos erupted after police said a 911 call was misunderstood, which caused panic.

According to the University of Florida Police Department, there was a candlelight vigil in the Turlington Plaza on campus to show support for Israel.

Just before 9 p.m., someone attending the vigil fainted, which caused other attendees to ask for someone to call 911. Police said the call was “misunderstood by the crowd,” which caused the people to panic and scatter frantically.

According to police, five people were injured and suffered minor injuries.

The scene was secured and police escorted the crowd away from the area.

“We have no reason to believe that there was malicious intent behind this incident,” Chief Linda Stump-Kurnick said. “It was an accident that was misinterpreted by the crowd that led to panic.”

Attendees who left their belongings were escorted to retrieve them. Anyone else who was unable to retrieve their items can pick them up at the UF Public Safety building on Tuesday morning.

UF President Ben Sasse spoke at the event before the panic struck. He said the following about the event.

“Tonight’s vigil was an opportunity for our community to condemn Hamas’ terrorism and stand by our Jewish Gators. I’m grateful for each and every Gator who came to show their support. I’m grateful for Rabbi Jonah and Rabbi Berl for their leadership.”

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