Teen shot, killed outside Linton Middle School in Penn Hills
March 28, 2017 9:09 PM
People watch as Penn Hills and Allegheny County Police investigate the shooting death of a teenager Tuesday at the Linton Middle School playground in Penn Hills.
People react after a teenager was fatally shot Tuesday at the Linton Middle School playground in Penn Hills.
Stephanie Strasburg/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
A group of people hold hands in a circle beyond the police tape where a teenage boy was shot and killed outside Linton Middle School on Tuesday in Penn Hills.
Penn Hills and Allegheny County police investigate the fatal shooting of a teenager outside Linton Middle School on Tuesday.
Police officers investigate the scene at Linton Middle School in Penn Hills where a teenager was fatally shot on Tuesday.
By Andrew Goldstein and Molly Born / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
A teenager who had been playing basketball on a court outside a Penn Hills school was shot to death Tuesday afternoon.
Penn Hills police Chief Howard Burton said Deven J. Holloway, a 16-year-old sophomore at Penn Hills High School, was shot to death while playing basketball on a court outside of Linton Middle School on Maple-Lo Drive with a friend about 4:30 p.m., when someone fired three to five gunshots. No one else was injured; students at the school had already gone home for the day.
“Our first officer arrived on scene within four minutes, did find an individual lying on the ground,” Chief Burton said at a press conference Tuesday night. “[The officer] did request medical assistance ... we had a bad situation there. And, subsequently, the individual was pronounced dead at the scene by our paramedics at about 4:36 p.m.”
Deven died in a parking lot near the school gymnasium. Chief Burton said a handgun was found near his body, but it was unclear who had dropped it there.
Police questioned a 22-year-old man from Plum in the shooting. The attorney for the man, whose identity was not released, acknowledged on Wednesday that his client did shoot Deven but said it was in self defense.
Attorney Phil DiLucente said his client went to Allegheny County police headquarters for questioning and was released Wednesday morning.
Allegheny County Police Lt. Andrew Schurman said detectives had questioned several people but had filed no charges.
Police interviewed a number of witnesses, including people attending an after-school volleyball tournament inside the gym.
“There were a lot of witnesses there,” Chief Burton said. “A lot of people saw things, a lot of people didn’t see things. ... It happened so quickly people weren’t sure what happened.”
Chief Burton could not say whether Deven had been specifically targeted. The investigation was continuing, he said, adding that a security camera in the area might be of assistance.
Wednesday’s classes at Linton Middle School, Penn Hills High School and Penn Hills Elementary School have been canceled.
“The board of directors of the Penn Hills School District extends their deepest sympathies to the family of the student killed today and shares the sadness with all the families of Penn Hills students,” the school board said in a statement Tuesday night. “We have directed the schools to be closed so that our families can begin to make sense of this tragedy.”
A prayer service is set for 6 p.m. Wednesday at the middle school.
School board president Erin Vecchio said school counselors “are on the alert.”
“I'm in shock,” said Ms. Vecchio. "How does somebody come around a school and shoot somebody? There are cameras everywhere, so whoever it is, they'll be caught.
“I don't know how to ever tell a parent that your son or daughter has been shot while they were at school. It's heartbreaking,” she said, her voice breaking.
“It's unbelievable,” said school board member Pauline Calabrese. “School's supposed to be a safe place. ... My heart goes out to the families.”
This is the second fatality involving a Penn Hills High School student this year. In January, 17-year-old Donovan Baynes, a member of the school’s football team, was killed when the car he was driving struck a utility pole along Rodi Road.
Donovan, a senior, had been on a college recruiting trip earlier that day.
Staff writer Karen Kane contributed. Andrew Goldstein: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1352. Molly Born: email@example.com or 412-263-1944.