Donald Trump was rushed off the stage by Secret Service agents on Saturday night while making a speech at a rally in Nevada, sparking panic in the crowd.
The Republican nominee shielded his eyes and looked into the crowd and was then suddenly removed from view by two agents as a disturbance unfolded near the stage.
Several witnesses said they heard shouts of “he’s got a gun”. The incident prompted the crowd to react in panic, with several hundred people surging towards the back of the hall in Reno.
However, none of those witnesses saw a weapon. One man said he believed a tightly folded poster had been misidentified as a firearm.
Several witnesses close to where the man in question was detained described him being wrestled to the ground by several Trump supporters, who lay on top of him.
“I saw a man to my right and then it looked like a fight broke out,” said Michael Newton, 45, who helped detain the man. “There were four or five guys on top of him. Then the people on top of him shouted ‘he’s got a gun, he’s got a gun’. That’s when I also jumped on top of him to help; we were all shouting to alert the Secret Service.”
The man, who was bald, and looked in his 30s or 40s, was attempting to wriggle free.
Amid the chaos, there were conflicting descriptions from witnesses, although most described seeing a man rushing toward the front of the stage before he was tackled to the ground.
“It was like he was running forward to get to the front,” said a man who declined to give his name. “He was saying ‘excuse me, excuse me’, working his way to the front.” One woman, who gave her name as Lauren, said she saw the same man looking “wild eyed”.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 6, 2016
Several minutes later, a balding white male wearing a hoodie was escorted out in handcuffs by number of police officers.
The main in question has since been released, according to reports.
The US Secret Service said Trump’s security detail removed the Republican nominee from the stage after seeing a commotion in the crowd.
“Immediately in front of the stage, an unidentified individual shouted ‘gun’. Secret Service agents and Reno police officers immediately apprehended the subject. Upon a thorough search of the subject and the surrounding area, no weapon was found,” a spokesman said in a statement.
The Secret Service and Reno police are continuing their investigations.
Eventually, Trump returned to the stage and said: “Nobody said it was going to be easy but we will never be stopped. We will never be stopped.”
He added “I want to thank the Secret Service, those guys are fantastic.”