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Police, Local Officials On Alert After Downtown Violence

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(Photo Credit: KDKA)

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – On day two of Pittsburgh’s Light Up Night celebration, police and officials are offering public safety assurances after Friday evening’s festivities were disrupted by violence.

Pittsburgh’s annual Light Up Night celebration is supposed to be a night of family fun and entertainment in downtown that kicks off the holiday season.

However, Friday evening’s festivities were marred by violent scenes.

Officials say one young woman was arrested for attacking another woman in front of police. There were other arrests for fighting as well.

A shooting happened near 7th Avenue and Smithfield Street. Police say they now believe a man in his 20s may have accidentally shot himself in the groin area.

A woman who did not want to be identified was a few feet away when the shooting happened. She said she was boarding a bus with two small children at the time.

“They were scared, especially the 10-year-old. I think the 4-year-old wasn’t really quite sure what was happening. He knew that there was a gunshot because everybody was talking about it on the bus. The 10-year-old kept telling me how scared he was,” she said. “It’s such a shame because this is such a fun event for families. For something like this to happen, you got to wonder, should I go downtown or not.”

But Holly Geitner, with the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, wanted to assure the public that downtown Pittsburgh is a safe place to visit.

“What happened last night, as we understand, it was a very isolated incident,” said Geitner. “The location of where things happened was pretty far removed from where we had the event programmed and planned.”

Meanwhile, Pittsburgh police are continuing to look out for the public’s safety.

“We have taken every measure that we can foresee to ensure the safety of everybody that comes down to enjoy tonight’s festivities,” added Pittsburgh Police Sgt. James Vogel.

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