PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Two teenagers are in critical condition following a shooting just minutes after the end of the Fourth of July fireworks show downtown.
According to Pittsburgh Police, the shooting happened around 11:10 p.m. Thursday after a fight broke out between several people in Katz Plaza on the 600 block of Penn Avenue.
The scene was just a few blocks away from Point State Park, where tens of thousands of people were gathered to watch the fireworks.
One victim was shot in the head, the other was shot in the abdomen. Both were taken to local hospitals in critical condition.
As of just before noon Friday, they remain in critical condition, according to Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich.
Hissrich said both victims were male teenagers, ages 16 and 18. They are both from the city of Pittsburgh.
Investigators said that it’s likely numerous people saw the shooting, given the large crowds that were downtown for the fireworks display.
They’re asking those who may have witnessed the incident, or who captured footage of it, to call Pittsburgh Police at (412) 323-7800.
Several businesses have turned surveillance video over to detectives, Hissrich said Friday morning.
Derek Weber, director of the LionHeart Event Group and the organizer of the Fourth of July celebration, released this statement Friday morning:
“More than an hour after the Celebrate America event and Flashes of Freedom fireworks ended, Pittsburgh Police and Public Safety informed us that a shooting occurred in another section of Downtown Pittsburgh. Point State Park was already closed for the evening.
Safety is always the number one priority at the events we produce, and with thousands of people attending the 4th of July celebration, we spend all year developing safety and security plans with city, county, and state public safety departments. We have the utmost confidence in Pittsburgh Police and Public Safety to respond to these types of incidents and address them.”
Public Safety said that it will be working with partner law enforcement agencies and the mayor’s office to explore options to avoid similar incidents of violence moving forward.
Officials held a press conference at 11:30 a.m. Friday to provide additional details on their investigation into the shooting.
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