Community fun day honors teen murdered at haunted hayride

PENN HILLS, Pa. — Playing games and connecting with family — those are the things Shantel Pizaro says made her son, Steven Eason, happy.

“He loved having fun,” she said. “He loved cracking jokes, laughing. If you seen my son, he had a beautiful smile, and nine times out of ten, he was smiling.”

Monique Jenkins, 15, said Eason was her godbrother.

“Any time we was with him, it was fun,” Jenkins said. “It was never a dull moment. That’s what I really liked about him. He didn’t really have any drama with anybody.”

Sunday’s second annual “Steven Eason Jr. Memorial Family Fun Day” at Penn Hills Community Park, which was organized by Pizaro, honors her son and the need to bring about change.

“I think violence isn’t the way to solve everything,” said 11-year-old Jasmine Curry, Eason’s close family friend. “There are consequences for the things that you do.”

Two years ago, on Sept. 11, 2021, detectives said Eason was shot and killed while breaking up a fight at a haunted hayride in North Versailles. He was just 15 years old.

“It makes me feel as though I’m doing something to make him proud while also keeping him relevant,” said Pizaro.

Pizaro told Channel 11 the event not only keeps her son’s legacy alive but also keeps his case in the spotlight.

“We don’t want it to turn into a cold case,” she said. “We don’t want him to become irrelevant to a lot of people. We want him to matter because what happened to him does matter.”

Despite dozens of witnesses that horrific night, there are still no arrests. Two years later, however, the case is finally picking up some traction.

Last week, Channel 11 confirmed a grand jury has been reviewing evidence and hearing testimony in connection to the teen’s murder.

RELATED COVERAGE >>> Grand jury convened in case of teenager murdered at North Versailles haunted hayride

Pizaro is staying hopeful that charges against a suspect could come out soon.

“Please, someone, just tell the truth,” she said. “Be honest about what happened so that we can get some type of justice for him.”

County police said they’re still investigating the case.

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