PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Multiple people were shot in Downtown Pittsburgh following Monday’s Fourth of July fireworks display.
It happened around 10:30 p.m. on 7th Street, near Liberty Avenue.
At a press conference Tuesday, police said two groups were fighting on 7th Street. Someone mentioned they had a gun in a bag, and that’s when the shooting occurred.
Investigators say the shooter is believed to have been wearing all black. Another suspect is believed to have been wearing a white dress shirt with a white shirt underneath.
Police say a woman was shot in the head as she was walking across the street. She was taken to the hospital in critical but stable condition.
A female juvenile tried to run from the scene and was shot in the leg. She was taken to Children’s Hospital of UPMC.
A teenage boy was shot in the leg as he walked out of a 7/11. He was last reported to be in stable condition.
An 18-year-old man was also shot in the leg.
Police say it doesn’t appear that any of the victims were targeted.
“It does not appear that the victims were involved in the argument that led to gunfire,” Asst. Chief Thomas Stangrecki said. “After reviewing some of the reports, it appears, as I mentioned, that the females just happened to be in the area when things erupted, and I also mentioned that the one male had just got out of the 7/11 when he was struck with gunfire as well.”
“Downtown is safe, it will remain safe,” Mayor Bill Peduto said, “and we just have to be able to understand that when these isolated incidents start trending in a certain way, that there’s a bigger problem out there, and no matter if it’s downtown or in a specific neighborhood.”
Peduto also says the bigger problem is guns getting into the hands of juveniles.
“When we look and you look to see what’s happening in Chicago right now or in Nashville or in cities that are seeing a lot more spike in violence than we are, you also see that it is increasing with younger victims and younger people who are pulling the trigger,” Peduto said, “and that’s something we don’t want to see happen within Pittsburgh.”
Witnesses described the chaotic scene.
“There was a big group, and the next thing we heard was ‘pop, pop, pop’, I ducked and I ran into the 7/11,” one woman said. “I saw people drop to the ground everywhere, there was so many people.”
“My legs are shaking so hard,” she continued, holding back tears. “Real scary, real scary, I’ve never been in anything like that before.”
Another man says he can’t believe it happened with so much police presence.
“It was just Fourth of July. We just finished the Fourth of July celebrations and it was definitely not fireworks,” said Jason Sobek. “How is this going on on Liberty Avenue in downtown Pittsburgh with so much police presence. It was kind of shocking.”
Sobek went on to say, “It’s extremely disturbing. There were a lot of people down here tonight. Women, teenagers, toddlers. Everybody was having such a great time at Point State Park and now this.”
After the shooting, officers noticed a juvenile with what appeared to be a firearm in his waistband. The juvenile fled and discarded the weapon in a flowerbox. Officers recovered the weapon, which turned out to be a pellet gun. The juvenile was taken into the custody and charges will be filed, but he is not being connection to the shooting at this time.
Anyone with information on the shooting is being asked to call Pittsburgh Police.