WEST MIFFLIN, Pa. (AP) — Three people, including two teenagers, were wounded by gunfire late Saturday at an amusement park southeast of Pittsburgh, which was kicking off a Halloween-themed festival.
Allegheny County police said a 39-year-old man and two 15-year-old boys sustained leg wounds in the gunfire shortly before 11 p.m. Saturday at Kennywood Park in West Mifflin. Park security responded along with local and county police who were working a security detail at the park.
Emergency responders took the man and one of the youths to a hospital, where the man was treated for a gunshot wound to the leg and released. The youth was admitted with a gunshot wound to the leg, and another youth grazed on the leg was brought to the hospital by a relative; both teens were listed in stable condition.
Witnesses told investigators that two groups of teenagers were involved in an altercation in front of the Musik Express ride and shots were fired by a male wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and a dark-colored COVID mask. A handgun was found near the scene, police said.
Kennywood posted a statement on Twitter around 12:30 a.m. Sunday saying the park had been closed for the night and all guests had exited. The company said it was “closely collaborating with police as they investigate.”
“We are greatly saddened by the violence that occurred last night,” Kennywood said in a statement Sunday afternoon. “Our thoughts are with those who were injured as a result of the incident, as well as all guests and team members affected by what happened.”
Kennywood said park entry security protocols include “a state of the art weapons detection system” as well as video scanning and bag checks, as well as the presence of county and local police. The park’s website also says “weaponry of any kind is strictly prohibited at the park.”
Police are investigating using the park’s security cameras and witness statements, KDKA-TV reported. County police asked anyone with information or video to contact investigators. The Pittsburgh Public Safety Department said in a social media post that its officers were assisting.
Kennywood was celebrating the first night of its Phantom Fall Fest, scheduled to run through Oct. 16, according to the park’s website. The park will be closed Sunday, with tickets dated for that day good for any other day of the Phantom Fall Fest, and is to reopen Friday, the park said on its website.
The website bills the park as a family fun destination featuring seven roller coasters and rides for children.
Ward Troetschel, of West Mifflin, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he arrived at about 9:45 p.m. Saturday and saw “way too many unaccompanied minors.” He said he left at about 10:30 p.m. because young people were being aggressive and “trying to start fights.” As he left, groups of at least 100 ran past him two or three times, Troetschel said, calling it a scene with “lots of chaos.”
Thomas Harrison of Irwin told the Tribune-Review that he was with his fiancé and parents when the shots were fired, and then people were screaming, running, and pushing each other over to get out of the park.
“Kids were crying,” Harrison said. “Some people were looking for their loved ones.”