Man hid in trees, shot at school van from woods, police say

Man charged for allegedly shooting window of school van

SHENANGO TOWNSHIP, Pa. — A man is suspected of shooting at a school van, which had seven students on board, from a wooded area in Shenango Township, Lawrence County, Tuesday morning.

Bryon Benetas, 41, was found wearing a camouflage outfit in the woods off Route 65 with at least two guns next to him, Channel 11’s Amy Marcinkiewicz reported. The two guns included a rifle with a bumpstock attachment and a Walther PPQ semi-automatic handgun with 8 live rounds inside of it.

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Twelve bullet fragments and one semi intact bullet were found in the parking lot of a restaurant across the street from where Benetas was laying, police told Channel 11.

“Did you shoot at the van,” Marcinkiewicz asked him. “I did not,” Benetas replied while being led away in handcuffs by police.

Benetas is charged with attempted homicide.

The van, which belongs to the Shenango Area School District, was on Route 65 when a bullet hit a side window about 9 a.m., police said. The bullet shattered that window, passed through the van and then shattered a window on the other side.

BREAKING UPDATE: A school van with seven students on board was shot at this morning. Here’s WPXI Amy Marcinkiewicz with what we’re just learning.

Posted by WPXI-TV Pittsburgh on Tuesday, March 10, 2020

All of the students, who are of elementary age, inside the van were safe, as was the driver, officials said.

Shenango Elementary School and High School were placed on a modified lockdown as a precaution.

Residents had been asked to stay indoors while police investigated, according to a Facebook post from the Lawrence County Department of Public Safety.

Police are looking into if the van was the intended target.

Benetas was charged with criminal attempt homicide among other charges.

RAW: School van shot in Lawrence County