Four people are dead after a gunman opened fire at a car wash roughly 50 miles southeast of Pittsburgh early Sunday, officials said.
Police initially reported five fatalities, but lowered the death toll to four during a news conference Sunday afternoon. They noted that the shooter was on life support but not expected to survive.
The four victims’ bodies were discovered by police shortly before 3 a.m. when they responded to a 911 report about a possible shooting at Ed’s Car Wash in Melcroft, Pennsylvania, according to Fayette County District Attorney Richard Brower. Two of the bodies were found in a pickup truck and two others were outdoors by the side of the car wash.
Brower identified the victims as William Scott Porterfield, 27; Chelsie Lou Cline, 25; Courtney Sue Snyder, 23; and Seth William Cline, 21.
Another woman, whom police did not identify but said was in her early 20s, survived by taking cover in the backseat of the pickup truck. She sustained minor injuries from breaking glass.
We’re on the scene of a mass shooting in the small town of Melcroft, Fayette County. State Police confirm multiple people have been shot to death at a car wash. And the suspect may be one of them. A live report in minutes on Channel 11 Morning News. pic.twitter.com/JxrVhh3xVp
— Lori Houy (@WPXI_Lori) January 28, 2018
The shooter, 27-year-old Timothy O’Brien, used an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle and a 9 mm handgun to carry out his attack, officials said. He was also carrying a .308 rifle.
O’Brien sustained a possibly self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head and was transported to a local hospital, where he was on life support.
Family members of the victims told local NBC affiliate WXPI that the shooter was a man who used to date one of the victims, although police would not confirm this during the news conference since the investigation was ongoing.
Ed Bukovac, owner of the car wash, told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that a neighbor alerted him around 4 a.m. that something was wrong at his business. He said that police were already at the scene when he arrived and that he had few, if any, additional details to offer.
Brower described the shooting as “horrible” and “senseless.”
“I would like to express our condolences to the families and friends that have lost loved ones during this devastating event,” Brower said during the news conference. “I understand that this one horrific event will change their lives forever and they will never forget the events that occurred.”
A town watches as @PSPTroopBPIO investigates multiple fatalities in Melcroft. @WPXI_Lori#WPXIpic.twitter.com/jxshjvoT07
— Gigi (@wpxigigi) January 28, 2018
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