Major fallout appears to be on the way from a disturbing incident in which gunfire at a youth football game left three injured, with one victim dying in a hospital from injuries suffered in the attack days later.
As reported by Pittsburgh CBS affiliate KDKA, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and a variety of other outlets, three East Liberty (Pa.) residents were injured when a gunman opened fire during a PeeWee football game between teams from East End and Wilkinsburg in East Liberty. The gunman's bullets hit his intended target, a 27-year-old man who had been involved in an ongoing argument with the gunman, and two other victims, who appear to have been innocent bystanders who were caught in the fray. One, a 33-year-old woman, was shot in the hand while the other, a 64-year-old woman was also struck by a stray bullet.
Now that 64-year-old woman, Charlene Walters, has died from injuries sustained in the shooting, raising the possibility that the gunman could be brought up on manslaughter charges … or worse.
"[The intended target] was a parent," Pittsburgh Police chief Nate Harper told KDKA. "One of his kids [was] playing on the field. I believe his son is 5 years old, and any parent should be able to attend something where their child is participating at and be able to feel safe to watch their child and feel safe that their child will be safe.
"We have children, we have babies out there on that field, 5-year-olds, 6-year-olds that were playing at the time. And no child should be put in harm's way,"
Pittsburgh Police agreed to have police onsite for every game in the league going forward, just one step toward trying to ensure that the chaotic violence that struck the East End vs. Wilkinsburg game is not repeated. Harper said that metal detectors could also be used at future events.
Still, those rather significant steps can't help bring back Walters, leaving her family to mourn a life taken when youth football parents apparently couldn't keep their cool.
"I thought it was fireworks -- we often do that," Garrett Barnett, the coach of the Wilkinsburg "baby" team of 4- to 7-year-olds told the Post-Gazette. "Everything got real quiet, and then real noisy. Kids were crying, they were all scared."