deadly shooting

Public's Help Sought After Teen Shot, Killed at Pa. ‘Haunted' Hayride Event

Central Catholic High School student Steven Eason was shot an killed during an altercation at the Haunted Hills Hayride in North Versailles, Pennsylvania, Saturday night

A road sign promoting the Haunted Hills Hayride in North Versailles, Pennsylvania.
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What to Know

  • Authorities are asking for help from the public in their search for a teenage suspect who opened fire at a popular "haunted" Halloween attraction in western Pennsylvania over the weekend, killing one 15-year-old youth and wounding another.
  • Allegheny County police said 15-year-old Steven Eason of Wilmerding was shot in the chest and stomach Saturday night at the Haunted Hills Hayride in North Versailles. The other youth is in stable condition.
  • Detectives said Eason and friends knew the other youth casually and went to his aid when they saw him in a confrontation with the 15- to 17-year-old suspect, who drew a handgun and fired three times.

Authorities are asking for help from the public in their search for a teenage suspect who opened fire at a popular Halloween attraction in western Pennsylvania over the weekend, killing one 15-year-old youth and wounding another.

Allegheny County police said 15-year-old Steven Eason of Wilmerding was shot in the chest and stomach and died after the shooting reported at about 8:15 p.m. Saturday at the Haunted Hills Hayride in North Versailles.

Detectives said Eason had gone to the attraction with a group of friends and saw the other 15-year-old, whom they knew casually, involved in a confrontation with the suspect. They went to his aid, and the suspect drew a handgun and fired three times, hitting Eason and the other youth, before fleeing toward the parking lot.

Police said there were 50 to 100 people in the immediate area at the time of the shooting. Investigators don't yet know what prompted the confrontation. The other 15-year-old victim was shot in the shoulder and was listed in stable condition at a hospital, police said.

The suspect, described as 15 to 17 years old, is being sought, and detectives are asking anyone who witnessed the shooting or has cellphone video of it to contact homicide investigators.

Central Catholic High School, where Eason was a student, expressed “deep sorrow" on its Facebook page and said counselors would be available for students during regular school hours and by email.

The principal, Brother Tony Baginski, called Eason “a dedicated student, a talented member of the track team and a blessing to have" at the school. “He will be deeply missed by all of us at Central Catholic and we offer our condolences and prayers to his family and friends," he said in a statement, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

The Penn Hills school district also said counselors would be available for students needing support following the shooting “that led to an injury of a PHHS students and the death of a Central Catholic student."

The Haunted Hills Hayride, which says a portion of the proceeds from the event go to benefit the Autism Society of Pittsburgh, said in a statement Monday evening that its “heartfelt thoughts and prayers" go out to the families of the victims of what it called “the senseless act of violence."

“The safety of all persons associated with our family fun-oriented event has always been a priority since we started 22 years ago," the statement said. After meeting with staff and “an outpouring of support," officials said they would resume the scheduled dates of operation, since “we cannot let an isolated bad act stop the good of what the Haunted Hills Hayride provides."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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