SHENANGO TOWNSHIP, Pa. (KDKA) — A Shenango Area School District van carrying students was struck by a bullet Tuesday morning.
A Shenango man faces charges for allegedly shooting the van full of elementary school students.
According to the New Castle News, Bryon John Benetas of Schenley was arraigned Wednesday morning
The charges range from Criminal Attempted Homicide to Aggravated Assault, to Discharging a Firearm Into an Occupied Structure Firearms Not to be Carried Without a License, in addition to others.
“I didn’t shoot at nobody,” said the suspect, who has not been named.
The van was transporting a driver and seven elementary school students to Shenango Elementary School.
“We know what we believe happened,” Sgt. Darrin Cwynar of the Shenango Police Department. “Whether it was intentional or not, he shot into a van full of young children. He will be charged accordingly for that.”
The shooting happened on Route 65, across from Mister B’s restaurant.
Police say the man was lying on the ground across the highway wearing a camouflage outfit. He was armed with a .22 caliber rifle.
Windows on both sides of the van were shattered.
“We know that at least one gunshot went through the van, not striking any children,” Cwynar said.
The van was less than a mile away from the school.
The Shenango School Superintendent responded to the incident in a prepared statement, saying:
“The district is Impressed with the cooperation of law enforcement Including state police for their quick response. We are blessed that no one was hurt and the kids arrived at school safely “.
Police found a dumpster near the restaurant riddled with bullets.
Right now, the motive for the shooting remains unclear.
A second weapon was also found.