Kennywood Shooting: Active Shooter Reported at Pittsburgh Amusement Park

Getty The skyline of downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, September 22, 2009.

A shooting was reported at Kennywood, an amusement park near Pittsburgh, at about 11 p.m. today, Saturday, September 24, 2022. Initial reports from police said they received a call for an active shooter firing shots inside the park.

Law enforcement said during a press conference that three people were shot, including a 15-year-old. Police are searching for a suspect who they described as a black male wearing a black hoodie and a COVID-19-mask. Police recovered a handgun inside the park, they said.

The three victims were a 15-year-old shot in the thigh, a 39-year-old shot in the leg and a second juvenile with a grazing wound. Several other people were treated at hospitals for trampling injuries, police said.

WPXI described the reported incident as a “mass casualty incident,” but said there was no immediate confirmation on injuries.

Pittsburgh Public Safety wrote a brief statement on Twitter saying Pittsburgh Police were on the scene at Kennywood responding to a shots fired call.

“At this time @PghPolice are assisting with the reports of shots fired at Kennywood,” Pittsburgh Public Safety wrote on Twitter.

Here’s what you need to know:

A Local News Anchor Was Picking Up Her Son at Kennywood When She Heard Gunshots & Saw People Running

A news anchor for WPXI in Pittsburgh said she was picking up her son at Kennywood Park when she heard two gunshots. WPXI reported Susan Koeppen was in the parking lot waiting for her son when she heard gunfire, and saw a man tell his children to run. She called her son and told him to get out of the park, she wrote on Twitter.

“I took this pictures moments after hearing gunshots at Kennywood. I heard pop pop and called my son and told him to run,” she wrote on Twitter.

Moments after she called her son, she said he rushed into her car, followed by several other children she did not know who were seeking shelter.

“Two shots were fired as park was getting ready to close and lots of families were in parking lot for pick up. Witnesses said they ran, some hopped fences to escape and left their belongings behind,” she wrote on Twitter.

She told WPXI she saw a man running with two small children in a wagon. Her son told her he saw crews running with a stretcher toward the Steel Phantom, a rollercoaster at the park.

WTAE cited an unnamed source who told the news station there were “two confirmed gunshot victims,” two additional victims, and a walk-in victim at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. The news station also reported several people were “trampled in the chaos.” The conditions of the victims were not immediately reported.

Police told WTAE there was “no longer an active shooter situation at the park.”

One witness shared a video from the scene that showed people fleeing the park as police rushed in.

“End of Video you can still here the shooter still firing at KennyWood tonight while our family was trying to get out,” the witness wrote on Twitter.

WPXI’s Talia Kirkland shared video from the scene, which showed a heavy police presence and officers directing traffic outside the park. She said on the video police were clearing the amusement park, and families were reuniting with each other outside. Kirkland said she spoke to someone who told her he was inside the park and heard possible gunfire, then ran.

“Police and EMS units have swarmed Kennywood Park in West Mifflin after reports of shots fired inside the park, according to law enforcement sources. ‘A mass casualty incident’ has been declared,'” she wrote on Twitter.

About one hour after the report of an active shooter, Kirkland wrote that emergency crews were working to reunite parents and children.

“There is still a large police presence here at #KennywoodPark as emergency crews and police work to get the parking lot cleared and children reunited with parents,” she wrote on Twitter.

All of the Guests at Kennywood Have Been Cleared From the Park, Said the Amusement Park’s Spokeswoman

A statement from Kennywood on Twitter said that all of the guests who were in the amusement park had been cleared as of about 12:30 a.m.

“The park is closed for the night and all guests have exited. We are aware of a situation that occurred this evening and are working with local law enforcement,” Kennywood’s Twitter account said. “The safety of our guests and Team Members are our top priority. Members of the park’s security, Allegheny County, and West Mifflin police departments were already on site and immediately responded.”

Ward Troetschel, of West Mifflin, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette he went to Kennywood but stayed for less than an hour because of young people he said were acting aggressively and “trying to start fights.” He told the newspaper there were “way too many unaccompanied minors” at the park, and said he left at about 10:30 p.m. He said that as he was leaving, at least 100 people ran past him two or three times.

He told the newspaper the scene involved “lots of chaos.”

Tonight was the opening night of the Phantom Fall Fest at the amusement park, according to the Kennywood website. The website says “All Guests, Team Members and Management must pass through metal detectors at the entrance gate, and all bags, purses and coolers are subject to search.” Firearms are listed among the prohibited items in the park.

West Mifflin Borough sent out an alert asking the public to avoid the area around Kennywood.

“Due to an ongoing emergency services situation, there is an increased emergency services presence in the area of Kennywood Park,” the statement said. “We are asking that you avoid the area at this time. We will update as we have more information. Thank you.”

State Representative Nick Pisciottano wrote on Twitter there was a “confirmed incident” at Kennywood with reports of injuries.

“There is a confirmed incident at Kennywood with injuries reported. My thoughts go out to the victims of physical and mental injuries,” he wrote on Twitter. “Check on loved ones and wait for real facts to come through professional sources. Do not circulate uncorroborated rumors posted on social media.”

KDKA reported police and EMS were called to the park at about 11 p.m.

This is a breaking news post and will be updated as more information becomes available.

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