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Haunted Hills Hayride Reopens Friday Night With New Security Measures

NORTH VERSAILLES, Pa. (KDKA) - As the Haunted Hills Hayride reopens two weeks after a shooting left one teen dead and wounded another, police are asking the public to help them find the killer.

In a Facebook post, the business says they've hired a security company and everyone who enters will be searched for illegal and prohibited items.

The Haunted Hills Hayride will be open on Friday, September 24, 2021 at 7:00pm. Please be patient entering our facility...

Posted by Haunted Hills Hayride on Thursday, September 23, 2021

Weapons of any kind, like guns, knives, pepper spray and tasers aren't allowed, and neither are drugs and alcohol. Anyone who brings any of those items into the hayride will be turned over to police.

The business also says anyone 16 and younger must have an adult with them at all times.

John Geary's three children go to the spooky attraction almost every year. He's glad new safety measures were put in place.

"I think the whole family will go. I wouldn't let the little two go by themselves. The oldest one, we possibly would. But with what happened, I would feel more comfortable if the whole family had a night out to the haunted hayride," Geary said.

WATCH: Jessica Guay Reports

While the hayride is reopening, Allegheny County homicide detectives want the nearly 100 potential witnesses who were there two weeks ago to come forward and help them solve the case.

The shooting on Sept. 11 killed 15-year-old Central Catholic student Steven Eason and injured a Penn Hills student, also 15.

Photo Credit: Central Catholic High School

Police say a friend of Eason's had a confrontation with another person outside the hayride ticket office, and when Eason interceded, that person shot and killed him and wounded his friend.

Haunted Hills Hayride posted on Facebook after the shooting saying, "The safety of all persons associated with our family fun-oriented event has always been a priority since we started 22 years ago. After meeting with members of our event staff and with an outpouring of support from the community and our fan base, it has been determined that we cannot let an isolated bad act stop the good of what the Haunted Hills Hayride provides."

"It's a great idea, great thing to have locally. I would hate to see it go away," Geary said.

County homicide detectives have worked long hours but say additional information is needed to bring the person who shot him to justice.

"Our detectives have worked very tirelessly and they've worked with other people in the community who have been helpful, but unfortunately, we haven't uncovered enough information to make an arrest," said Allegheny County Police Inspector Michael Peairs.

He says detectives need those who know the shooter and other potential witnesses in the vicinity two weeks ago to come forward.

haunted hills hayride north-versailles-shooting
Photo Credit: KDKA Photojournalist Bryce Lutz

"There were 50 to 100 other people present — other teens — and we think some of these teens have the answers that we're looking for," said Peairs.

He declined to discuss any more specifics of the investigation but emphasized the need for assistance from those with information.

"We only hope that they and their families come together and talk and come forward with the information so we can find justice for Steven Eason," he said.

County police emphasize that people can give information anonymously at 1-833-ALL TIPS.


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