2:10 PM PDT, September 13, 2021
A 15-year-old high school boy was killed and another was injured when the pair were shot at the Haunted Hills Hayride during the annual charity event to benefit the Autism Society of Pittsburg, on Friday, officials said
The deceased, identified as Steven Eason, of Wilmerding, Pennsylvania, was shot in the chest and stomach and died from his injuries. The second victim was shot in the shoulder and is currently in stable condition, according to the Allegheny County Police Department news release.
Lt. Venerando Costa of the Allegheny County Police Department told Inside Edition Digital that he is urging anyone with information to come forward.
“Anyone who took any videos or photos at the time of the shooting, please contact us,” he said.
Detectives said that Eason was at the hayride with his friends saw that an acquaintance was involved in a confrontation with an unidentified suspect. Eason went over to assist him and that is when the suspect allegedly drew a handgun and fired three times, striking Eason and the second victim.
The identity of the wounded teenager was not released.
The Haunted Hills Hayride is part of the annual charity event to benefit the Autism Society of Pittsburg that is slated to run through Halloween.
The shooting took place near the ticket book, approximately 15 minutes before the doors opened.
Police said there were at least 50 people waiting in line for the ride as the gunshots went off. Chaos broke out in the wake of the shooting and people scrambled, ABC reported.
The suspect is described as standing between 5 feet, 9 inches and 6 feet tall, has a slender build and is between the ages of 15 and 17. He was last seen wearing dark clothing and fled the area in the direction of the parking lot, a report said.
It is unknown what prompted the confrontation, and detectives continue to investigate, Costa said.
Eason was a sophomore at Central High School in Pittsburg, school officials said in a Facebook post.
“It is with deep sorrow that we share with you news of the sudden and unexpected death of Steven Eason,” school officials said in a statement, adding that counselors will be made available to students this week.
“Eternal rest grant unto Steven O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. Through the mercy of God, may Steven rest in peace. Amen,” the post read.
Condolences came pouring in on social media, where many described Eason as a wonderful young man.
“My heart is broken over this. Another young and promising youth gone far too soon,” one person wrote. “Rest in God’s arms young man. I am praying that the family is surrounded by people who love them and that God sustains them through such a difficult time.”
Detectives are requesting anyone who saw the shooting or who has cell phone video at the time of the shooting to contact the Allegheny County Police Homicide Unit. The department can be reached through its tip line at 1-833-ALL-TIPS (1-833-255-8477); callers can remain anonymous.