WEST MIFFLIN, Ohio (AP) — A 15-year-old boy has been arrested in last month’s shooting at an amusement park in western Pennsylvania that injured three people, including two teenagers.
Allegheny County and West Mifflin County police said last week that the teenager has been charged as an adult with aggravated assault, reckless endangerment and firearms offenses in the Sept. 24 fire at Kennywood Park on the opening night of the park’s Phantom Fall Fest.
Park officials said Saturday night’s shooting followed an altercation between two groups of teenagers near the Musik Express ride in the park in West Mifflin, southeast of Pittsburgh. A 39-year-old man and two 15-year-old boys were taken to hospitals with leg injuries, authorities said.
Investigators said last week that evidence recovered at the scene indicated that there were two shots fired, one of them by the arrested teenager. He himself was also grazed in the thigh by a bullet, and authorities are looking for a second suspect, who Christopher Kearns, the county police superintendent, said is “probably” a juvenile.
Kennywood closed for the day after the shooting and announced new security measures including more police, more security along perimeter fences, bag size limits and face masks and requiring adult chaperones for all youth at all times during the Fall Fest, scheduled to go up to. mid October.
Kearns said it’s unclear how the weapons got into the park, and investigators are still looking into the possibility that the weapons were thrown over the park’s fence or carried by someone jumping the fence. Officials said they were cutting down trees along the perimeter fence to improve visibility and installing new floodlights and security cameras to fully cover the fence line. They also promised to “significantly” increase security patrols.
Authorities said they believe the shootings stemmed from a dispute between two groups of teenagers that led to dozens of shootings in several Mon Valley communities. Victor Joseph, the county’s assistant police superintendent, cited 55 calls for shots fired in Duquesne and Homestead, the communities of the rival gangs.
“We all know this is a serious problem,” Joseph said. “People who live in these communities know how serious it is. People who have lost loved ones to gun violence and incarceration know how devastating it is.”