By Ralph Iannotti

PENN HILLS (KDKA) — Penn Hills schools will be open Thursday, but under tight security.

School Board President Erin Vecchio told KDKA-TV News that students and staff can expect to see extra police and school security personnel to insure everyone’s security.

Hours before the district was set to reopen its doors, a prayer service was held Wednesday night outside Linton Middle School. It drew a diverse crowd of several hundred people.

The 15-minute vigil was held to honor the memory of and show support for the family of 16-year-old Penn Hills High School sophomore Deven Holloway. He was fatally shot Tuesday afternoon, outside the middle school, in a parking lot.

The school district administration ordered their security officers to make certain reporters and photographers be kept at a distance from the vigil.

Holloway’s cousin, John Wilson, said after the service, “It feels good to see people who aren’t even related, who don’t have blood, but they share a friendship and a respect and. You can only respect it and move forward.”

Police have questioned a person of interest in the homicide, a 22-year-old unidentified man from Plum Borough, but he was released from custody.

The man’s attorney, Phil DiLucente, said the shooting was in self-defense because his client was attacked, and he was at the school to play basketball.

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Wilson said it’s been difficult for the family to deal with Holloway’s death.

“I just wish and pray that we can come together and come up with a solution to all this madness, and make change and make things different,” said Wilson.

No one has been charged in the shooting investigation, detectives will confer with the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office on whether to file criminal charges.

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