Three people were injured as a San Francisco staging of Hamilton ended in chaos Friday after a medical emergency in the audience was mistaken for an active shooter inside the venue.
The Orpheum Theatre was evacuated and the evening’s Hamilton performance was cut short after the series of incidents, which began when a woman in the audience suffered a heart attack during the musical’s duel scene where Alexander Hamilton is shot.
Because of the timing between the medical emergency and the gunfire within the musical, some in the audience believed there was an active shooter in the theater, resulting in a rush towards the exits, CNN reports. San Francisco’s KPIX added that someone in the audience shouted “Gun!”
The retrieval of the theater’s defibrillator to treat the heart attack victim also triggered an emergency alarm system in the theater, adding to the chaotic scene. NBC Bay Area reported that a boy also suffered a seizure during the chain of events.
“During a medical event at the SHN Orpheum Theatre this evening an audience member activated the theater’s fire pull station,” the theater’s operator tweeted. “The audience and cast followed the life/safety system’s automatic announcement and exited the theater.”
“There was no one with a gun, there were no shots fired, at the end it was a medical emergency,” San Francisco Police Captain Renee Pagano later said.
The heart attack victim was taken to the hospital in critical condition, while two other people were hospitalized with minor injuries. Friday’s Hamilton performance was canceled after the incident.
Rick Negron, who plays King George in Hamilton‘s touring production, tweeted about the incident Friday night:
A medical emergency at the end of our HAMILTON performance tonight sparked a panic that emptied the Orpheum theater in San Francisco. Someone’s screaming led to the panic and because we live in these troubled times with daily shootings everyone went into survival mode.
— Rick Negron (@RickNegron3) February 16, 2019