(PITTSBURGH) — A gunman was on the run Sunday after shooting three people, including two teenagers, and sparking panic at a crowded amusement park near Pittsburgh, police said.
Gunfire erupted around 10:46 p.m. Saturday at the Kennywood amusement park in the Pittsburgh suburb of West Mifflin, police said.
Witnesses said the shooting occurred in front of the park’s popular Musik Express ride and sent park-goers diving for cover and running to the exits. Police said several people were injured when they were apparently trampled while attempting to get out of harm’s way.
Allegheny County Police Superintendent Christopher Kearns said an altercation occurred and the alleged assailant pulled a handgun and started firing.
At the time of the shooting, West Mifflin and Allegheny County police officers were at the park and quickly responded along with park security to the gunfire, according to a statement released by park officials.
Kearns said officers found two people wounded at the scene. He said a 15-year-old boy and a 39-year-old man were both shot in the leg. The teenager was taken to Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh in stable condition, while the adult victim was treated and released from Mercy Hospital, Kearns said.
A third victim, also a 15-year-old boy, left the park on his own but later showed up at a hospital to be treated for a graze wound to his leg, Kearns said.
Witnesses told investigators the suspected gunman appeared to be a teenager wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt and a COVID-style mask.
A handgun was recovered at the scene, according to police.
Police are investigating how the weapon got into the park. All Kennywood employees and guests must pass through metal detectors at the entrance gate and all backpacks and coolers are subject to inspection, according to the park’s website.
The shooting occurred on the first day of the park’s 20th annual Phantom Fall Fest, a family-friendly Halloween season event, according to the park’s website.
The gunfire broke out about 14 minutes before the park was set to close for the night.
“Most everyone ran. There was, at one point, a hundred people just ran out of the park,” a witness told ABC affiliate station WTAE in Pittsburgh.
Kennywood officials said the amusement park was immediately shut down after the shooting and all visitors were evacuated. The park plans to reopen on Sept. 30, according to the park’s website.
“The safety of our guests and team members are our top priority,” the park’s statement reads.
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