Fans barred from Pa. high school football game after hayride shooting that left teen dead
Fans won't be allowed and security will be increased at the Woodland Hills-Penn Hills high school football game Friday amid concerns about "unresolved feelings and emotions" after one 15-year-old was killed and another was critically wounded at a North Versailles haunted hayride on Saturday.
"We believe restricting those allowed onsite to football players, coaches and essential event staff only is prudent given recent events that have affected many youth in the Pittsburgh area," Penn Hills Superintendent Nancy J. Hines wrote in a letter posted on the district's website and shared on social media.
Steven Eason of Wilkinsburg, a student at Central Catholic High School, died in the shooting. The wounded teen, who has not been identified, is a student at Penn Hills High School.
The Woodland Hills-Penn Hills game is set to kick off at 7 p.m. at Yuhas-McGinley Stadium in Penn Hills.
"I think it's the right decision." Woodland Hills Superintendent James Harris said Wednesday. "We want to keep everyone safe."
It will also allow the players to focus on what's happening on the football field in this rivalry game and not what's happening in the stands, both superintendents said.
The teens were shot about 8:15 p.m. Saturday during the opening night of the Haunted Hills Hayride in the 500 block of Mosside Boulevard in North Versailles, police said.
Eason was with a group of friends who casually knew the other boy, police said. When Eason saw that boy involved in a confrontation with the teen suspected of firing the shots, Eason and his friends tried to help him, according to police.
Police don't know what the confrontation was about, they said.
"Our investigation is active and moving forward," Allegheny County Police Lt. Venerando Costa said Wednesday.
Police are seeking witnesses and cellphone video of what happened as between 50 and 100 people were in the immediate area when the shots were fired.
The suspect, believed to be a teen, fired a handgun three times, hitting Eason and the other boy, and ran toward the parking lot at the hayride, police said.