MELCROFT, Pa. (AP) — The father of one of four people gunned down by a jealous ex-boyfriend says the suspected shooter had an altercation with his son at a bar hours before the deadly rampage.
Scott Porterfield told the Tribune Review he’s seen security footage from Tall Cedars lounge in rural Donegal, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) southeast of Pittsburgh, that shows the shooter placing his hand on his son Billy Porterfield’s shoulder early Sunday morning.
A staff member asked Timothy Smith to leave, and his son remained at the bar, he said.
Hours later, police said Smith had fatally shot 27-year-old Billy Porterfield and three others at a self-serve car wash in rural Fayette County: Chelsie Cline, 25; Courtney Snyder, 23; Seth Cline, 21. Another woman who managed to hide in the back seat of a truck survived with minor injuries.
Smith, 28, suffered a gunshot wound to the head. He’s on life support and isn’t expected to survive what authorities believe may be a self-inflicted injury.
Smith was obsessed with Cline after they dated, leaving beer for her on her car and sending her flowers and other presents, Chelsie Cline’s half-sister, Sierra Kolarik, told the Tribune-Review.
Porterfield’s wife has said Chelsie Cline became involved with her husband recently. His father told the newspaper Porterfield had been thinking about getting divorced.
Exactly why the group was at the car wash just before 3 a.m., and how Smith knew they would be there is unclear.
Investigators are trying to access phone records to help piece together the events leading up to the shooting, said Trooper Robert Broadwater.
More than 150 people attended a vigil Monday night at Christian Life Assembly church in Melcroft.
“Such a tragedy can cause us to isolate ourselves from the community,” said the Rev. Doug Nolt, pastor of Indian Head Church of God. “But such a tragedy can also bring us together. We will not let this tragedy overcome us.”