Brandon Ward talked exclusively with Channel 11 about what he saw in the moments before he was shot and the chaos that followed Saturday night at Kennywood.
Ward says he had a gut feeling that something wasn’t right as the park was getting ready to close for the evening.
“The whole park was nothing but teenagers running wild,” Ward said. “There were just groups of them running everywhere, screaming. There were probably two or three groups of 30 kids. I just happened to notice the one behind us. He looked too calm, there was something going on. You knew it.”
Brandon and his fiance were watching as their daughter rode the Musik Express one last time before the park closed. They were leaning up against a fence.
“We got pushed into and boom, it just happened so quick,” Ward said. “As soon as we heard the shot, I felt a shockwave go through my body. I instantly yelled, ‘I’m hit!’”
Ward says he tried to get away, but he had been shot in the leg and was losing a lot of blood. Every step he took got more difficult.
“I didn’t know where to go, where to run, if they were going to keep shooting, and my wife was panicking.”
Police officers rushed to Ward and applied tourniquets. He says the 15-year-old who was pushed into him had been shot and was lying on the ground motionless, but Ward remembers someone vividly from the moments before the chaos.
“I noticed behind me, I even mentioned it. I said, ‘Why do these guys have these masks on like this?’ I noticed the one had a hood over his head. That’s all you saw was kids, there were no adults. The kid that got shot next to me, he had nobody next to him. He was completely on his own and he was 15.”
We asked Monday, but Kennywood would not answer any questions about surveillance cameras, any other emergency exits or if they’ll be making any policy changes after this.
Ward is out of the hospital with a walker and crutches. He can’t move his leg yet and says he’s not ready to see where the bullet traveled through his leg, just narrowly missing a main artery.
“The bullet went into the back of my thigh and exited out the front, right above my knee,” Ward said. “It just missed my artery and my femur. I got lucky, I guess. They said if it had hit my artery, I wouldn’t have made it out of the park.”
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