The incident occurred Wednesday night at a performance of Fiddler on the Roof in Baltimore’s Hippodrome Theatre and sparked panicked reactions among audience members who feared another shooting after Pittsburgh.
It happened during intermission according to Rich Scherr who was at the show. Scherr works as a sportswriter for the Baltimore Sun and told the paper that he witnessed the incident, in which a man in the balcony section “began shouting “Heil Hitler, Heil Trump.” When the audience heard that, “people started running,” Scherr said, adding, “I’ll be honest, I was waiting to hear a gunshot. I thought, ‘Here we go.’”
“Heil Hitler, Heil Trump,” is a phrase popularized by anti-Semites of the alt-right. It is used primarily by the movement’s younger adherents.
The man was escorted out of the theater and, true to the theater motto, the show did go on, with the production finishing its performance.
Scherr posted a video on Facebook showing the audience reaction moments after the shouts went up in the theater.
It’s not clear at this point who exactly escorted the man out of the theater—whether it was staff security or fellow audience members—or what measures, if any, were taken to ensure he couldn’t re-enter the building. There is no mention in local news stories of any police report being filed.
According to the Baltimore Sun:
Anti-Jewish incidents reported to police in Maryland jumped 47 percent in 2017 to 78 incidents, according to a Baltimore Sun review of records. That was amid a 35-percent increase of overall hate or bias incidents reported to police statewide last year.