WHITE TOWNSHIP, Pa. (WTAJ) — Pennsylvania State Police are investigating a shooting that killed one person and injured at least eight others early Sunday morning.
The shooting happened shortly after 12:30 a.m. at the Chevy Chase Community Center in White Township, about 65 miles east of Pittsburgh. Pennsylvania State Police believe the shooting broke out during a private party at the community center.
Troopers from the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) along with local police department and EMS personnel responded to a shooting that took place around 12:35 a.m. on Oct. 8. The shooting happened at the Chevy Chase Community Center along 5th Avenue in White Township, according to PSP.
Troopers say one person, a 22-year-old man from Pittsburgh, was killed in the shooting and eight others were injured.
An 18-year-old from Chicago is in critical condition. Authorities have released limited information regarding the remaining victims:
- 18-year-old man from Florida
- 20-year-old man from Pennsylvania
- 19-year-old man from Pennsylvania
- 22-year-old man from Pennsylvania
- 19-year-old female from Pennsylvania
- 23-year-old female from Pennsylvania
- 19-year-old female from Pennsylvania
Two of the nine victims were students at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, according to a release from the university. The school, located just over a mile away from the Chevy Chase Community Center, was celebrating homecoming this weekend.
“We understand that incidents like last night’s violence are frightening and may cause continued feelings of fear and worry,” the IUP’s vice president for student affairs, Thomas Segar, said, before providing information about mental health support and counseling.
Waynesburg University, located just over 100 miles from the community center, also announced on Sunday that three of the victims were students.
The victims were transported to Indiana Regional Medical Center, UPMC Presbyterian Hospital, UPMC Mercy Hospital and Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center. State police said some of the victims were treated and have been released.
Robert Miller, who lives near the community center, said he and his wife heard loud music coming from the building as they were about to go to bed.
“Then all of a sudden, I heard about 20 gunshots,” he told the Tribune-Review. “There was people lying on the edge of the sidewalk out there. It’s terrifying.”
His wife, Ellen Ober, said, “There were people everywhere crying and screaming.”
Trooper Cliff Greenfield said investigators were trying to gather as much information as possible from witnesses.
“Clearly we have not been able to interview everyone who was there,” he told the newspaper. “People were fleeing the scene — it was a chaotic scene.”
State police are currently investigating and have no suspects in custody. Anyone with information is asked to immediately contact Troop A, Indiana at 724-357-1960.
The Chevy Chase Community Center was built in 1971 by a group established in 1969 to fight poverty and help those in need, according to its website. The center says its mission is to “cultivate, nurture, and sustain a peaceful and inclusive culture that brings community together with positivity, diversity, inclusion, education, nutrition, and love.”
Executive director Brandi Ports said on the center’s Facebook page that officials are “praying for everyone involved” and that the center would be closed until further notice.
“Please be in prayer for those involved, for our community, and for our staff and volunteers,” she said.
Nearby resident Lillian Clemons told the Tribune-Review that she is a former director of the center and that her brother is among the many people who get meals there. She said she believes the center shouldn’t be rented out on what she called “crazy weekends” such as homecoming.
“I’m about to cry. It’s hurtful because everybody struggles to keep this,” she said. “This was a service for the community. That’s what we need it for, for the people.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.