Gun battle at haunted hayride leaves one teen dead, another critically injured

Opening night of Pennsylvania Halloween attraction marred by violence as hundreds forced to run for cover.


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Haunted Hills hayride
Mayhem at a haunted hayride near Pittsburgh

A “haunted hayride” in Pennsylvania was the scene of something far more sinister than anyone could have imagined after a gun battle at the attraction left one teenager dead and another critically injured.

The gunfire also sparked mayhem as hundreds of people waiting nearby were forced to take cover.

The shooting unfolded around 8:15 p.m. Saturday at the Haunted Hills Hayride, about 13 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, according to the Allegheny County State Police.

A teenager was killed and another was critically injured when gunfire erupted at the popular Halloween attraction, according to reports from NBC news and other media outlets.

Police said the suspected gunman remained on the run Sunday. Gunfire broke out near the ticket booth about 15 minutes before the annual charity event was set to open for the first night in a run scheduled to go through Halloween, according to police.

Several hundred people, including parents and children, were waiting to get into the event when multiple shots were fired, sparking a chaotic scene of people scrambling to get out of harm’s way, according to police.

Police sources said that the shooting appeared to have stemmed from an argument near the ticket booth.

Lt. Venerando Costa of the Allegheny County Police Department said at a news conference that two 15-year-old boys were shot and taken to an area hospital, where one was pronounced dead and the other was in critical condition. Their names were not released.

Costa said witnesses described the suspected gunman as Black, 15 to 17 years old, 5 foot 9, with short hair and wearing dark blue cargo shorts and carrying a black backpack.

It was unclear if the suspect fled the scene on foot or in a vehicle.

No other injuries were reported.

“What goes through my mind when a 15-year-old gets shot at a hayride? I think it’s a terrible shame,” Costa said. “Anybody could have been hurt.”

The Haunted Hills Hayride, which also features a haunted trail lined with actors dressed in Halloween costumes, is an annual charity event to benefit the Autism Society of Pittsburgh.

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