3 injured in Pennsylvania amusement park shooting

West Mifflin, Pa. (AP) — Three people, including two teenagers, were shot and injured Saturday night at an amusement park southeast of Pittsburgh, which was kicking off a Halloween-themed festival.

Allegheny County Police say a 39-year-old man and two 15-year-old boys suffered gunshot wounds to their legs shortly before 11 p.m. Saturday at Kennywood Park in West Mifflin. Park security responded with local and county police working as park security.

Emergency responders took the man and one of the youths to hospital, where the man was treated for a gunshot wound to his leg and released. The youth was admitted with a gunshot wound to the leg, and another youth with a scraped leg was taken to hospital by a relative; both teenagers were listed in stable condition.

Witnesses told investigators that two groups of teenagers were involved in an altercation outside the Musik Express ride and shots were fired by a man wearing a black hoodie and 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 that the park had been closed for the night and all guests were out. The company said it was “working closely with police in their investigation”.

“We are very saddened by the violence that occurred last night,” Kennywood said in a statement Sunday afternoon. “Our hearts go out to those injured as a result of the incident, and to all guests and team members affected by what happened.”

Kennywood said security protocols at the park’s entrance include “a state-of-the-art weapons detection system” as well as video scanning and bag checking, as well as the presence of police from the county and local. The park’s website also states that “Weapons of any kind are strictly prohibited in the park.”

Police are investigating using park security cameras and witness statements, KDKA-TV reported. County police have asked anyone with information or video to contact investigators. The Pittsburgh Department of Public Safety said in a social media post that its officers were helping.

Kennywood was celebrating the first night of its Phantom Fall Fest, scheduled until October 16, according to the park’s website. The park will be closed on Sunday, with tickets dated that day valid for any other day of Phantom Fall Fest, and is due to reopen on Friday, the park said on its website.

The website promotes the park as a fun family destination with seven roller coasters and rides for kids.

Ward Troetschel, of West Mifflin, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette he arrived around 9:45 p.m. Saturday and saw “far too many unaccompanied minors.” He said he left around 10:30 p.m. because the youths were aggressive and “trying to start fights”. As he was leaving, groups of at least 100 people passed him two or three times, Troetschel said, calling it a scene with “a lot of chaos”.

Irwin’s Thomas Harrison told the Tribune-Review he was with his fiancé and his parents when the shots were fired and then people were screaming, running and pushing each other out of the park.

“The kids were crying,” Harrison said. “Some people were looking for their relatives.”

Harold B. McConnell