PITTSBURGH - Just one hour after Pittsburgh's fireworks show, downtown was turned into chaos when two teenagers were shot during a fight among a large group of juveniles.
Police are asking for anyone who has pictures or videos to come forward with information.
The relatively new Pittsburgh police substation is 0.1 miles away from where the shooting happened on the night of Fourth of July near the corner of 7th Street and Penn Avenue in the Cultural District.
Two teenagers were shot, one 16-years-old and one 18-years-old. Both are in critical condition.
BREAKING: two teens who were shot last night are 16 and 18 years old. Both in critical condition @WPXI— Gabriella DeLuca (@GabriellaDeLuca) July 5, 2019
Previous Violence During Downtown Events
Police have said this was not a random act of violence and was the result of a fight involving a large group.
On July 4, 2016, four people were wounded in a shooting near the Wood Street T station.
That violent event, as well as fights breaking out at the Regatta in 2017, led to police opening the substation downtown.
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Reconsidering Security for Major Events
Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich said that in response to this year's shooting, his department will see what else can be done.
"This will include evaluation of transportation, lighting throughout the downtown area, particular road closures that may be instituted and security for various venue sights in the downtown area," he said.
Pittsburgh's Mayor Bill Peduto issued the following statement:
Thank you to all Public Safety & Public Works employees who worked all day on 4th. The shooting event is being investigated. Over 100,000 people were able to share Independence Day together in Pittsburgh. Details of shooting incident will continue through Public Safety, Friday.— bill peduto (@billpeduto) July 5, 2019
Will This Impact Local Tourism?
Channel 11's Erin Clarke talked to visitors and tourism experts alike to learn if this changes the way they see downtown Pittsburgh.
"It was shocking. It was like 'Guys, there was a shooting here last night. We could have actually been caught up in it if we had been here at wrong time,'" Eleanor Brodbent from England said.
VisitPittsburgh, the city's tourism organization released the following statement:
“Our public safety officials and police force have the safety of our residents and visitors as a top priority, for that reason we are able to promote our city as a safe city to visit."
Public Safety Director Hissrich echoed that sentiment.
"I would strongly encourage the families who want to come downtown to continue to come downtown and we will provide the best security and protection we can," he said.
Other Emergency Responses During 2019 Fireworks
In addition to the shooting, police made three other arrests: two people for a domestic dispute, and one person for disorderly conduct (fighting).
The Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire did not receive to any fire calls for its units dedicated to the fireworks event.
Pittsburgh EMS responded to nine calls and took four people to the hospital.
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