Downtown Seattle

Police: Firework-throwing man causes panic in Pioneer Square

SEATTLE -- A man with a backpack full of firecrackers caused a panic in Pioneer Square and had at least one officer preparing to deal with a gunman early Saturday, according to the Seattle Police Department.

An officer was driving near Occidental Avenue and Yesler Way around 1 a.m. when he heard loud bangs that sounded like gunshots. As the officer drove toward the noises, he saw people running down the streets.

Expecting to deal with a gunman in Pioneer Square, the officer instead found a man walking down the street. According to police, the officer watched as the man tossed a firecracker into the air and it exploded.

The man reportedly ran off when he saw the officer, but the officer was able to catch up with him in a parking lot.

The man apologized and said he was out of fireworks. But, more firecrackers were found in the man's backpack, according to police.

The man was booked into King County Jail for investigation of reckless endangerment.