Metropolitan Police said officers responded to the incident as if it was terrorism given the nature of the information received.
“Some cordons remain in place and additional officers remain on duty in the West End to reassure the public. We thank the public for their patience and assistance during our response,” Police said in a statement.
Police had received multiple reports of shots fired at 4:38 p.m. (11:38 a.m. ET) on Oxford Street and at the Oxford Circus underground train station. They gave no details on what happened, but crowds were seen running down Oxford Street, a shopping strip usually busy with pedestrians and heavy traffic.
The incident happened as throngs of shoppers flocked to the area for Black Friday retail sales.
Tell us where to send you Five Things
Morning briefings of all the news & buzz people will be talking about
By subscribing you agree to our
Oxford Circus station was evacuated, while thousands of people were cordoned away from the area as a large police presence descended on the scene. Many people took shelter in nearby buildings.
British Transport Police said they had a report of one woman with minor injuries received while leaving Oxford Circus station. They reported no other casualties, and say their response to the incident has now been “stood down”.
The cause of the initial reports was not clear late Friday, but the fast and organized police response was a reminder that London is a city on high alert, following a string of terror attacks this year.