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Video does not show mass shooting at New York metro station

Video of anti-terrorism practice at German airport went viral with false claim


Claim: A social media video shows a mass shooting targetting of Chinese students at a metro train station in New York City, United States of America, in 2022.

Fact: The claim is false. The video is not from New York but actually shows an anti-terror drill conducted by German police at the Cologne Bonn airport in 2018.

On 21 October 2022, a Facebook page shared a video with the caption

“امریکہ کے شہر نیویارک میں اس وقت سب وے سٹیشن میں بڑے پیمانے پر فائرنگ ہو رہی ہے۔ زخمی تمام چینی باشندے تھے۔ اور ان میں سے زیادہ تر طلباء ہیں۔”

[Breaking News: There is currently a mass shooting in the subway station in New York City, USA. The injured are all Chinese nationals. And most of them are students.]

The 30-second footage shows large groups of people fleeing while being pursued and shot at by masked assailants.

The video attracted attention after a teen was shot dead in a New York subway after a fight between two groups of teenagers.

Fact or Fiction?

To investigate the claim, Soch Fact Check analysed the video usinginVID v and reverse image search.

The results on Yandex turned up a German-language YouTube video published by German public broadcaster ARD on November 21, 2018. The video title, translated into English, reads, “Anti-terror exercise: Police rehearse emergencies at the airport.”

“Around 1,000 police officers, customs officials and firefighters simulated a possible terrorist attack at Cologne/Bonn Airport. The brief training session before the eyes of the reporters was shockingly realistic: volleys from submachine guns, five attackers stormed the departure area in Terminal 1 of Cologne/Bonn Airport. They fire at fleeing people, shoot at the wounded lying on the ground. Panic breaks out. Just a simulation,” the German-language description reads.

Similar videos had been used in reports on the drill at the time by German media General-Anzeiger, ntv, Rheinische Post and Bild.

Below is the comparison of screengrabs of different keyframes of the mass shooting video (left) and the original video (right).



Soch Fact Check conducted an organic search on Facebook and found that the video with the false claim has been shared here, here, here, here, here and here between 21 – 30 October 2022.

On Twitter, the video posted by The Power of Pakistan received 1,567 retweets, 2,217 likes and 30,000 views. It can also be seen here, here, here, and here.

Conclusion: The video does not show a recent mass shooting at a New York subway station but an anti-terror drill conducted by German police in 2018.

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