Allegheny County

Woodland Hills School District superintendent remembers student killed in Pittsburgh mass shooting

BRADDOCK, Pa. — Channel 11 is hearing from the Superintendent of the Woodland Hills School District for the first time since 17-year-old Jaiden Brown was murdered in a mass shooting Easter Sunday.

In an exclusive interview with Channel 11, Dr. Daniel Castagna said Jaiden Brown was trying to end his high school career on a strong note, with graduation just weeks away.

“He was so focused on graduation,” Dr. Castagna said. “He was working so hard to make sure he could walk across the stage and receive a diploma. He was turning everything around that you could ask of a 17-year-old.”

Brown was one of two teens murdered at a party on the North Side when police said multiple shooters fired at least 100 rounds in seemingly every direction. Dr. Castagna says students have the support and resources they need to lean on and his focus is to make sure that Brown’s family has what they need. He added how sickened he is by the all-too common gun violence in young folks.

“It’s all you hear about and it’s all children under 18 – 17, 15, 16 years old.”

Dr. Castagna’s message to students is to get the support they need, lean on those who are there to help and keep yourself out of situations with the potential of turning dangerous.

“Use this as a teachable moment,” Dr. Castagna added. “Use this as a way to keep his legacy, memory in a positive way to prevent future behaviors. Be a leader to your friends, your community, help prevent the next issue from happening.”