Musikfest shooting sends crowd into panic; Bethlehem police say it was an ‘isolated incident’

BETHLEHEM, Pennsylvania (WPVI) — A shooting at a Lehigh County music festival sent patrons into a panic Saturday night as people ran for safety after witnesses said a single shot was fired.

Bethlehem City Police called it an “isolated incident” that happened just before 11 pm at Musikfest, near the corner of Main and Lehigh streets, where thousands of concertgoers were standing.

“Total chaos, like out of a movie. They took off, the cops responded immediately. They cornered this off and made it a crime scene,” said Dave Emili, whose food truck “Aw Shucks” Roasted Corn is next to where the shooting happened.

Investigators shut down the festival as a precaution after the shooting. FBI agents were on the scene too.

“People thought it was fireworks until they realized that it wasn’t,” said Henry Sanchez, who was in his food truck Cubano Press with his wife when the shooting happened. He says he locked his doors and told his wife to get on the ground.

“The crowd just burst that way. Cops came on the scene really quickly, literally 10 seconds,” he said.

Bethlehem City Police said in a statement in part, “There was an isolated incident at Musikfest and the festival was shut down as a precaution for the safety of the patrons. There is no known continuing threat to the public.”

Patrons say they’re still rattled.

“I’ve been here from the inception of Musikfest and it was always a great festival to go to. But in recent years, I haven’t gone as much as usual only because of the violence,” said Rose Vega from Bethlehem.

With the city’s permission, Musikfest was given the green light to open up for its last and final day Sunday.

“We enjoy coming to SteelStacks. We love seeing this area alive and well,” said Deb and Dan Hoffman of Emmaus.

Police and the Lehigh County District Attorney’s office are investigating the shooting.

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