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Police: Misinterpreted ‘accident’ led to panic

University of Florida students met for a vigil that turned into chaos over fear on Friday night in Gainesville. (Courtesy photo)

A plea from someone asking others to call 911 after a student fainted sent University of Florida students running in panic and trampling over others during a vigil in response to the Hamas attack on Monday night at the Turlington Plaza in Gainesville.

Witnesses told The Gainesville Sun that some University of Florida students had suffered concussions, broken bones, scrapes, bruises, and cuts that required stitches.

“We have no reason to believe that there was malicious intent behind this incident. It was an accident that was misinterpreted by the crowd that led to panic,” UPD Chief Linda Stump-Kuick told The Independent Florida Alligator.

UF was distributing the belongings left behind on Tuesday at the Public Safety building, at 1555 Museum Road. Rabbi Berl Goldman, of the Chabad at UF, was planning to organize another vigil.

The Jewish Gator community set up an emergency fund to collect donations to send to verified Israeli agencies. Israel’s response in the Gaza Strip and recovery efforts after the attack continued Tuesday.

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The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.