Jeannette residents say they are not worried about McKee Stadium security
Twelve hours after a 48-year-old Jeannette man was shot and killed outside Jeannette’s McKee Stadium near the end of a high school football game Friday, the 82-year-old athletic facility along Park Street had only a few walkers passing by Saturday morning and the occasional motorist headed out for weekend errands.
Just a few hours earlier, the road had been blocked off as city police and Westmoreland County detectives investigated the fatal shooting of Dameian L. Williams outside the Park Street gate of the stadium.
The shooting took place at 9:20 p.m. near the conclusion of the high school football game between the Jeannette Jayhawks and Imani Christian Academy.
City police arrested Greg A. Harper, 40, of Jeannette at the scene. Harper was arraigned before Harrison City District Judge Helen Kistler on charges of homicide and reckless endangerment. He was ordered held in the county jail without bail.
On Saturday, near the padlocked gates to the field, Claudia and Bob Horn had just dropped off their sophomore son, Tyler, to work out at the stadium. Tyler is a Jayhawk wide receiver and defensive back.
The couple believes Friday’s violent incident should not reflect adversely on either the city or the high school.
“This incident is certainly not typical of Jeannette,” Bob Horn said. “It is completely abnormal.”
Claudia added that she believes the school district does a good job of security during games and they would not let their son play football if they believed his safety was jeopardized.
“I have never felt unsecure in the stadium, walking anywhere around it, walking the streets here,” Bob Horn added.
Patrolman Thomas Yaniszeski and county Detective Ray Dupilka reported in court documents that both men were attending the Jeannette game and went outside the stadium where the altercation and shooting occurred.
Police said there were spectators departing the stadium where the shooting occurred with Jeannette leading 48-0 with 3:41 left.
Jeannette City School Superintendent Matthew Jones said after the game the city officers who arrested Harper minutes after the shooting were there working at the game. Three security officers were also at the game, he said.
Jones added that he intends to meet this week with police Chief Shannon Binda to discuss stadium security.
Claudia Horn added that the children “feel real bad” about the incident because many know the children of both the shooter and victim who attend the high school. Neither is on the football team, they said.
“It’s a real tragedy,” she said.
Another city resident, Karen Antoniak, lives a block away from the stadium and was walking yesterday morning. Antoniak, who is married to Mayor Curtis Antoniak, said she has lived in Jeannette her entire life, 64 years, went to high school there, plus played in the Jayhawk band before graduating in 1973.
“It’s was a completely isolated incident that occurred outside the stadium,” she said.
Antoniak also believes “no one should feel unsafe” attending events at McKee.
“This was a very unfortunate incident between two individuals that had nothing to do with the football game, the school or the community, that got out of hand,” she said.
Several other residents who live close to McKee Stadium, who declined to be identified, also defended the school and city security.
One said that McKee was built in 1937 and this is the first shooting incident in its history.
“It could happen anywhere in the county — not just Jeannette, he said.
Jeannette hosts Avella High at the stadium 7 p.m. Friday.
Paul Peirce is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at 724-850-2860, [email protected] or via Twitter .