We're very troubled by an incident Saturday night at the United Veterans Association club in Altoona.
An unidentified man fired four shots into the air to disperse a crowd at about 3:30 a.m. Saturday when about 20 people in the club's parking lot tried to keep the man and two women from getting into a vehicle and leaving, according to Altoona Lt. Jeffrey Pratt.
Charges are unlikely because the incident is being investigated as a case of self-defense, police said, although the shooter could be charged with illegally discharging a firearm within Altoona city limits.
The crowd included men who had sexually propositioned one of the women when she attempted to leave the club minutes earlier, Pratt said.
When the crowd didn't move, police said the man aimed a .380-caliber semiautomatic handgun in the air and fired four shots, dispersing the crowd.
We're glad no one was injured in an extremely dangerous situation that could have become disastrous. Even bullets fired in the air come down somewhere
We also can't help but remember a tragic situation at the UVA - seven years ago this month - in which three people were killed, including owner Alfred Mignogna, doorman Fred Rickabaugh Sr. and patron Stephen Heiss, by Miguel Padilla of Gallitzin, who was convicted and sentenced to death.
In 2009, a man fired a handgun into the air four or five times during a brawl among patrons in the UVA parking lot.
Thumbs-down to everyone involved.
Others worthy of thumbs-up, thumbs-down mention:
Thumbs-up to the Everett Alumni Association, which spearheaded an effort to recognize Army Staff Sgt. Robert Hartsock, who received a posthumous Medal of Honor after heroic actions led to his death in 1969 while serving in Vietnam. Earlier this month, the community named a bridge on Route 26 after Hartsock, an Everett native.
Thumbs-up to a pair of local foundations that are striving to help people stricken with various diseases. The Home Nursing Agency Foundation recently awarded 25 mission grants totaling $137,400 to agency programs and services that will directly impact patient care and services provided in the home and in the community. Since the agency began granting money in 2005, approximately $857,000 has been awarded, benefiting thousands of individuals and families cared for by agency nurses, aides, therapists, staff and volunteers. And the Greg and Cathy Griffith Foundation raised $60,000 in a series of weekend events [July 27-29] - bringing its three-year total to $200,000 - in its fight against pancreatic cancer, which claimed Greg's life at age 50 last year.
Speaking of good will, Spruce Creek area pillar Wayne Harpster recently hosted 10 wounded warrior veterans on his fishing grounds for the second Project Healing Waters fishing trip. Veterans from Pennsylvania, Virginia and New York participated. Meals were provided by Pine Grove Mills VFW and American Legion posts in Tyrone and State College, and fishing supplies were donated by TCO Fly Shop in State College and Jim's Sports Center in Clearfield. All other expenses, amounting to $6,000, were covered by Dominion Energy. Thumbs-up to Harpster and other contributors on this fine gesture.