False reports of gunfire brought the fifth busiest airport in the United States to a standstill Sunday night.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said Terminal 8 at JFK International Airport in Queens, New York, was evacuated "as a precaution" after the report of shots fired., which came in about 9:30 p.m. Eastern time.
A woman coming off a plane said she thought she'd heard gunfire. At least one person reported having heard gunfire, two other law enforcement officials also said.
The Federal Aviation Administration ordered a brief ground stop at the airport — meaning all flights arriving were rerouted and all flights departing were cancelled.
Roughly 45 minutes after the first call, a second call came in reporting that shots had been fired in Terminal 1, the Port Authority said.
An official told NBC News that cheering, clapping and banging from people watching the Olympic Games may have been misinterpreted as a fight and gunshots. CNN reported that hoax 911 calls and word of mouth led to the widespread panic.
At around 11 p.m., the Port Authority said a preliminary investigation revealed there was no shooting. The NYPD Special Operations division tweeted just after midnight Monday that all terminals were "searched & cleared," with "negative results."