SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) – Twenty-four hours after chaos erupted at Friday night’s Hamilton show, many theatergoers were still shaken up by the pandemonium that followed what turned out to be a medical emergency.
More than halfway through the musical, mass panic and confusion ensued.
The Reicherter family came to see the show from Half Moon Bay.
“Somebody said ‘gun, there’s a gun,’ and then we heard someone else say ‘shooter,’ someone else said ‘bomb,’ it was just all these words popping from down below, and then people just started running, and it was still dark and the play was still going on,” said Heidi Kling Reicherter.
“I was really scared and we couldn’t find my dad,” said daughter Amelia Reicherter.
Several videos from social media show the aftermath from the panicked exit.
San Francisco Fire says a woman in the audience suffered a heart attack. It happened after the scene where Alexander Hamilton is shot on stage.
Three people were injured during the panicked exit, including a woman who broke her leg.
“I imagine there could have been a shooter coming up the other side. We didn’t know if there was a terrorist, we didn’t know if there were several shooters, because these tragedies happen all over the US,” said Reicherter. “Outside was just complete bedlam, people were tripping all over themselves. We actually saw three people fall as they were running — people were screaming and crying and running.”
“There was a massive amount of people that started running, people started ducking under their chairs,” said Sean MacEachern of Sacramento, who was sitting six rows from the stage.
“The actors ran straight off the set, and there was no security presence whatsoever,” he said. “If there were, they were probably running toward the door, as well.”
Orpheum Theatre released a statement on Saturday that said in part it is in the process of contacting patrons from Friday night’s show to invite them to return to see Hamilton.
Reicherter says the trauma is too great for her family to return to another show. She would like a refund.
Both Reicherter and MacEachern say they have yet to be contacted by Orpheum.
Many angry patrons took to social media Saturday, criticizing the theater’s handling of the incident. They said there was no direction on where to go and what to do.
KPIX reached out to Orpheum Theatre, but they have yet to respond.