Baldwin High School mourns two deaths
Students at Baldwin High School mourned two deaths Monday — that of a classmate and of a former classmate, both of whom died Sunday.
Ty Kesten, a 17-year-old Baldwin junior, died of injuries suffered in a motocross accident in Sparta, Ga., according to a statement from event organizers.
Taevon Harris, 15, was killed in a murder-suicide in Homestead, according to police. He had attended J.E. Harrison Middle School but moved from the district before entering high school.
“It was a double whammy for us here at Baldwin,” Principal Walter Graves said.
Counselors were on hand as students grieved.
“It was kind of a very somber day,” Graves said. “The kids just moved around quietly.”
Nearly 200 people attended a candlelight vigil Monday night for Kesten at St. Albert the Great parish in Baldwin Borough. Students sobbed as they hugged one another, prayed and shared stories.
“There wasn’t a bad thing that anybody could say about Ty,” said Baldwin junior Paul Knerr, 16. “He was smart and kind, and he was great with everything with two wheels on it.”
Kesten’s favorite hobby was motocross, his friends said as they wiped away tears.
“He was the quietest thing, yet he could light up a room,” said junior Emma Wagner, 17.
Students said his family always welcomed his friends into their home.
“They’ve always been so close,” junior Abby Wagner, 17, said. “We were always over their house. He was the greatest.”
A Homestead man shot Harris in Harris’ backyard and then Ryzel Barrett, 19, went inside his home and shot his father before turning the gun on himself, according to police.
Officers responded about 8:45 p.m. Sunday to a home on East 15th Street for a report of multiple people shot, according to a 911 dispatcher.
Barrett and Harris, his neighbor, were pronounced dead at the scene, according to a supervisor in the Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Police said Barrett’s father was taken to a hospital. His condition was not available.
Tony Raap contributed. Reach Hacke at 412-388-5818 or firstname.lastname@example.org.