Jeannette schools to offer counseling to students, staff in wake of fatal shooting
As classes resume in Jeannette City School District on Monday after a fatal shooting outside McKee Stadium during a high school football game Friday, a number of neighboring schools have extended a hand to help any Jeannette students who need help coping with the traumatic incident.
Jeannette Superintendent Matthew W. Jones said Sunday the district is offering grief counseling to any student who requests it under the direction of Jeannette’s school psychologist, Dr. Robert Gregory. Counselors from several area school districts and the Westmoreland County Disaster Crisis and Outreach Referral Team will be at the high school as well.
“We expect school counselors from Franklin Regional, Greensburg Salem, Yough and Clairton to support our own counseling staff,” Jones said. “It is important to note that each of those individual school superintendents, as well as (Norwin’s) Dr. Jeffrey M. Taylor, reached out to me almost immediately and offered assistance.”
Jones also noted that staff members who continue to be impacted by the event will also have help available.
“With the assistance of the Pennsylvania State Education Association, we have coordinated their participation to meet with and assist any staff in need,” he said.
Victim, accused are Jeannette parents.
On Friday, 48-year-old Dameian L. Williams of Jeannette was shot and killed outside McKee Stadium near the end of a high school football game between Jeannette and Imani Christain Academy at 9:20 p.m. The game was suspended and students evacuated through the south side of the stadium, opposite from the north end on Park Street where the shooting occurred.
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 Saturday. He was ordered held in the county jail without bail.
Patrolman Thomas Yaniszeski and county Detective Ray Dupilka reported in court documents that both Williams and Harper were attending the Jeannette game and went outside the stadium where the altercation and shooting occurred. Both Williams and Harper have children attending high school, according to parents of Jeannette students.
Dupilka said detectives are still asking anyone who might have witnessed the confrontation who has not been interviewed by detectives or police to telephone county detectives at 724-830-3287.
Security meeting Monday
In addition, Jones said the school administration and city police have a meeting scheduled Monday to discuss stadium security options for future athletic events. The superintendent did not disclose particular security options that might be discussed during that meeting.
The Jayhawks have another game scheduled at 7 p.m. Friday at McKee Stadium against Avella High School.
After Friday’s game, Jones noted three 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.
Authorities reported that spectators at the games are not required to go through metal detectors.
While a full-time Jeannette police officer is assigned to the district as resource officer, Jones said there will be a second officer assigned to the school district campuses on Monday.
“This will continue as deemed necessary,” he said.
Additionally, Jones said additional police patrols around school facilities are planned.
Funeral arrangements have been announced for Williams by John V. Graziano Funeral Home Inc. in Jeannette. He was born Aug. 17, 1971, in Jeannette, a son of Wanda Williams and the late Thomas Brown.
He was a self-employed mechanic.
According to his obituary, Williams is survived by his wife, Teresa Latourette Williams; his children, Brandon Iapalucci, Christian, Domoniq, and Promise Williams, all of Jeannette; and his grandmother, Quintella Harris of Harrison City.
Visitation will take place 10 a.m. Tuesday until the noon service in the Rock of Refuge Congregational Church, 102 Clay Ave. in Jeannette. Pastor Roy Aiken will officiate.
Interment will follow in Brush Creek Cemetery, Hempfield.
Paul Peirce is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at 724-850-2860, [email protected] or via Twitter .