Jul 29, 2019

Shooting At Iron Pigs Game

Over the weekend, a 10-year-old was shot inside Coca-Cola Park – on the actual ballfield – just prior to an Iron Pigs game. While nobody initially knew the boy was shot, an x-ray at the hospital revealed a bullet in the boy's leg.

The discovery that the boy had been shot came an inning or two into the ball game. Amazingly, neither the Iron Pigs nor the Allentown Police Department did anything to lockdown and/or clear the stadium.

In a hastily-revised article by the Morning Call, Iron Pigs GM Kurt Landes and co-owner Joe Finley were quick to state that the bullet most likely came from outside the stadium by someone indiscriminately shooting into the air.

This raises a few questions/observations:

1) Why wasn't the stadium evacuated once it was discovered that the boy was a victim of a shooting. Doesn't the safety of the other spectators (and the players) matter as much as making sure the Iron Pigs generate maximum revenue on a game night?

2) Who made the decision to continue with the game? Surely the APD could not have already completed their investigation, and likely couldn't even begin it since a baseball game was being played on the crime scene. Yet somehow both the Iron Pigs and the APD allowed the game to continue. This is an amazing contrast to the response a few weeks ago in Bethlehem, when an UNARMED man climbed into unauthorized areas on the Steel Stacks property and Bethlehem police canceled events and cordoned off the area out of concerns for the patrons there.

3) Why does the Morning Call accept the word of people with a vested interest in the narrative (Landes and Finley) dictate the facts of the story? The revised story had a lot of quotes from Finley and Landes about what the APD said it could be, but virtually nothing from the APD itself. The Iron Pigs advertise in the Call and the Call has been a big cheerleader for the team. Given the role the Call had (and the results it lead to) after being a decade-long cheerleader for Ed Pawlowski and slanting stories in his favor, it would appear that the Morning Call has learned nothing from how that experience turned out.

 4) Even if the investigation concludes that the bullet did come from outside the stadium, there is the far larger question of whether it was just random or deliberately fired. I am not a great believer in random events, and think it is far more likely that (if the shot indeed came from outside the stadium) somebody shot at the stadium deliberately. I’m not saying they were aiming at the boy who got shot, but that the stadium and ANY of its patrons would have been the target.

I know that’s a narrative that the Iron Pigs won’t want to discuss. But I’d like to believe that City Hall, the APD, and the Morning Call will put the public’s safety first in this case, or at least on an equal footing with the team’s profits.

We deserve honest answers about what happened on Saturday night. So far, we’re not getting them. 

The above was a comment submitted to the previous post by UNKNOWN.

ADDENDUM: The IronPigs have issued the following statement, "The police have concluded that someone discharged a gun in the air within a three-mile radius outside the ballpark. Unfortunately, there was absolutely nothing the IronPigs could have done differently to prevent this type of incident from occurring." 

Certainly the team and police could not have prevented the incident from occurring, but they could have stopped the game and evacuated the stadium, while they determined that what actually happened presented no danger to anyone else.

According to the most recent Morning Call article, about 77% of falling bullets shootings hit the victim in the head, and about 1/3 die. Thankfully, the boy was very lucky. However, the stadium owners and police failed to protect the public by ending the game.  Currently, the coverup continues.


  1. Very sad that a young boy is wounded at a baseball game.Hopefully the A.P.D. will issue a statement

  2. It is very unusual that a crime scene wasn't established around the site of the impact with the boy. A determination of trajectory might have helped in the investigation of the source of the shot.

  3. supposedly it was determined at the hospital during the 4th inning that the bullet most likely came from above. Only by grace was the boy not shot in the head, neck or back. while the consensus on facebook was that the baseball game should have continued, I disagree. people take their baseball a little too seriously. coverage of the incident can be found in both the Morning Call and the WFMZ website.

  4. I was at the game on Saturday.

    To give full context to the game, I’ll also mention that in addition to Saturday being a special Harry Potter-themed night (complete with the team wearing special jerseys that would be auctioned off later), Saturday night was also a fireworks night.

    So one would suspect that Saturday night’s game was expected to be a big draw and that the fireworks would keep fans in the park later than the usual end of game time. I would also imagine that it would also be one of the more profitable nights for the team, since people staying longer are likely to spend more at concession stands. I hate to think that this was a factor in any decision made by the team and/or the APD, and don’t know if it was, but I think readers should know that information.

    As it was, I happened to be walking along the concourse during the THIRD inning, and can tell you that there was a large group of APD officers (4-6 of them) huddled there just behind the stands on the first level (where the west gate entrance meets the concourse). I didn’t think too much of it at the time (other than that it seemed unusual), but obviously believe there is a connection now that we know someone was shot before the game.

    That would have been at around 7:30 pm, which would have been only an hour after the boy was shot on-field during the pregame activities (news reports put the time of the shooting at 6:30). I didn’t see any high-ranking officers in that group (all appeared to be in patrol uniforms), although I can’t be sure there wasn’t a higher-ranking officer there.

    So if we're to believe the statements from the Iron Pigs officials that have been reported in news articles, within an hour (likely less) the APD had progressed far enough in their investigation to determine that the shot did not come from ANYWHERE in the stadium and there was no danger to ANYONE else at the park. This was supposedly determined despite:

    • The bullet not being recovered from the boy’s leg;
    • No examination of the bullet by a ballistic expert;
    • No knowledge of what type of weapon (pistol/rifle) fired the bullet;
    • The crime-scene (the ball field) not being examined for additional evidence;
    • No attempt being made to notify people about what happened to identify and interview additional witnesses who would have been near the boy when he was shot; and
    • Not knowing where the bullet came from, the shooter’s identity, or the motivation of the shooter.

    I could continue, but you get the point. I find it difficult to believe that the APD or any police department could have determined the venue was safe for other patrons in that short amount of time.

    I’ll also be the first to admit that I could be wrong. But if so, we should be told who in the APD made that determination that the venue was safe; what time the decision was made by the APD; and what information that person had when they made the decision.

    But so far we’ve gotten no answers to any of these questions. Nor does it seem that the press is even ASKING these questions. In fact, there seems to be little actual direct reporting of what the APD is saying, and any comment attributed to the APD in the press appears more based around confirming that the narrative being put out by team executives is possible.

    I would hope that our city council members would be asking these questions – publicly – at their next meeting. What happened Saturday night at Coca-Cola Park could (unfortunately) happen again at other this or other public events. Residents and those attending the events deserve to know that their safety is the primary concern.

  5. Your addendum about falling bullet victims got me thinking further.

    The current narrative from the Iron Pigs is that the bullet had to have come from outside the stadium since the entry of the bullet into the boy's leg was at an 80 degree angle.

    Putting aside the question of IF that information was known at the time the decision was made to continue on with the game, how do we know the position the boy was actually in when he was shot? I've stood in crowds with kids and they move around. A lot. So if he was jumping, running, or just horse-playing with a friend or relative while standing on the ballfield, his leg might not have been perfectly upright at the time he was shot.

    In addition, I discount the part of the narrative about nobody hearing a shot being fired, either inside or outside of the stadium. Inside the stadium, there is an ear-splitting PA system with sound effects being played at different times. Could a shot have been fired while being masked by noise inside the stadium? As far as outside the stadium, could a shot fired been mistaken for a now-legal firework exploding? In both instances, if nobody knows that someone's actually been shot until the next day, it's less likely that someone would recognize something they may have heard peripherally as being a gun shot.

    I'd also like to know who is ultimately responsible for making the decision to continue to play in situations like this. Does APD make the call to continue? The team? City Hall? The stadium owner (in this case Lehigh County)? Were county officials even notified of the incident, or did they just read about it in the newspaper like everyone else?

    Is the APD protocol (and decision-making on clearing a public venue) the same for an Iron Pigs game as it is for an event at J. Birney Crum (JBC) Stadium? Would APD have evacuated JBC if a kid had been shot on the field before an Allen football game or a drum and bugle core competition?

    Again, who makes the decision?

    I'd have to believe it's APD, but I can't believe that they wouldn't have cleared the stadium on Saturday night. Have they become so desensitized to shootings in Allentown that this wasn't a big deal to them?

    We need answers and transparency from City Hall. So far I haven't seen anything. The Mayor's been silent. So I'd say the ball is now in Council's hands to get answers and lead. The public deserves to know.

  6. Good Luck waiting for Allentown City Council to respond. They couldn't even get to the bottom of the Cedar Pool debacle. Now you want them to interfere with a profit based business. W O W...........