A Pennsylvania teenager was killed in a “targeted” shooting inside a movie theater, according to state police.
Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) troopers were alerted to reports of “shots being fired” at the Regal Cinema at 400 Laurel Mall Drive, in Hazle Township of Luzerne County, at about 8:15 p.m. local time on Saturday, January 14.
A PSP release shared the same day read: “Through investigation, it was determined that a 19-year-old male was struck by gunfire in the arcade/ lobby area of the cinema.
“The shooter then fled the cinema and area. The 19-year-old male victim was transported to Lehigh Valley Hazleton to be treated for his injuries.”
It added: “Although this shooting happened in a public place, where people were put in direct danger, this shooting was an isolated incident where the victim was specifically targeted.”
The release added the Troop N Major Case Team has opened up an investigation into the shooting. The PSP told Newsweek on Tuesday that no arrests had been made.
According to the Gun Violence Archive, a database that collects information about shootings from across the country, there have been 25 fatal shootings in Pennsylvania this year.
Statements released by family and education organizations named the victim as Luis Luna.
A Monday Heights Terrace Elementary/ Middle School PTA (parent-teacher association) Facebook post read: “Once again, the Heights Terrace Elem./ Middle School is mourning the loss of a former student.
“Luis Manuel Luna, only 19 years old, was gunned down inside the Regal Cinema last night. Our hearts are broken for his family & friends.
“No matter how loved a child is by his mother…that love cannot protect him from the senseless gun violence that has become a much too common occurrence in this world.
“Luis will be remembered for his seemingly shy quick wit and a smile that was unmatched. He was respectful, polite and as many of the HTEMS community have already stated in posts…he would never pass you up without a hello, a hug, and a smile.
“A smile that will be etched in our hearts and minds always. Our sympathy to his mom, family & friends. Rest easy Luis knowing you were loved.”
Manuel Luna, who says he is related to the victim, has organized a GoFundMe campaign for the deceased teenager.
A post shared on the page on Monday read: “He [Luna] was loved by all those around him and he was taken from us too soon.
“We made this GoFundMe to help raise money for the cost of his funeral and to help his mother during this tough time. It is a tough time for all of those that loved Luis. anything donated is greatly appreciated.”
Since the GoFundMe campaign was set up on Sunday, donations surpassed $7,875, with the goal being $10,000.
Anyone with information about the shooting has been asked to contact PSP Hazleton at 570-459-3890.