WEST MIFFLIN, Pa. — There are a lot of questions about security at Kennywood park after three people, including two teenagers, were shot inside the park Saturday night.
Allegheny County police said the victims were shot in the “Lost Kennywood” area of the park just before 11 p.m.
Now, people are wondering how a gun could have made it into the park. Kennywood has metal detectors at the entrance to the park and bag checks are also conducted. The park also said they have officers from the Allegheny County and West Mifflin police departments at the park.
Officials have not yet released how exactly the gun got into the park.
Kennywood Park also has a chaperone policy for visitors under the age of 17. The park’s chaperone policy reads:
“Guests aged 17 years and under must be accompanied by an adult chaperone beginning at 4:00 p.m. An adult chaperone is a parent, guardian, or other supervising adult at least 21 years of age. Adult chaperones must be able to provide valid ID, including a photograph and date of birth. Each adult chaperone must be present at the time of entry and remain within the park for the duration of their party’s visit. Adult chaperones supervising more than four minors must register their group at the Rider Safety Center before entering the park. Minors visiting prior to 4 p.m. may enter without an adult chaperone. Kennywood expects that minors entering without a chaperone will be joined by one at 4 p.m. If Guests aged 17 and under enter prior to 4 p.m., then leave and request to re-enter the park, at 4 p.m. or later, they must be accompanied by an adult chaperone. During Phantom Fall Fest, adult chaperones are required beginning at 4:00 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, plus the entire evening on Fridays. During Holiday Lights, adult chaperones are required at all times. Guests who cannot provide identification proving they are at least 18 years of age, or without an adult chaperone age 21 or older, will be refused entry. This policy is subject to change at Kennywood’s discretion.”
It is unclear at this time if the juveniles involved in the altercation that led to the chaotic scene were accompanied by an adult chaperone at the time.
Theresa Sekely, a former Kennywood employee, gave Channel 11 some insight into how security at the front of the park used to work.
“Our entry security protocols include a state-of-the-art weapons detection system put into place at the start of this season, video scanning, and bag checks,” Sekely said.
Sekely went on to say this time of the year was usually the busiest time for security workers when she was an employee.
“You would find more knives, you’d find a lot of pepper spray. There was twice that I found some brass knuckles, but it was just a time where you would see a lot more of those items,” Sekely said.
Kennywood has changed its security system since Sekely worked for them but she believes it is better than the previous system. In her experience, she said Kennywood has been responsive to implementing changes to improve the experience for guests and she thinks that will happen after the investigation into Saturday night’s shooting is completed.
“Hopefully they’ll make some changes so that everyone can continue to enjoy an amusement park in our backyard that we all love,” Sekely said.
Channel 11 has reached out to park officials to try to find answers to these questions and is waiting to hear back.
Check back for updates as more information becomes available.
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