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4 dead in Fayette County shooting, alleged gunman clings to life

Jeff Himler
| Sunday, Jan. 28, 2018, 8:42 a.m.

The man believed to have gunned down four people early Sunday in Fayette County is not expected to survive a possibly self-inflicted gunshot to the head, authorities said.

District Attorney Rich Bower identified the alleged shooter as Timothy O'Brien Smith, 28.

He identified those killed just before 3 a.m. outside Ed's Car Wash in Melcroft as:

• William Scott Porterfield, 27

• Chelsie Lou Cline, 25

• Cortney Sue Snyder, 23

• Seth William Cline, 21

Bower did not provide residences for Smith or the victims. Authorities erroneously reported earlier that five people died. Smith is still being treated in a local hospital, Bower said.

Smith was armed with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle and a 9mm handgun, Bower said, adding that an unspecified number of shots were fired.

A woman in her early 20s, who police did not name, was a passenger in a Chevy truck at the scene. She took cover in the vehicle and survived with minor injuries from broken glass. She is cooperating in the investigation, according to Sgt. Jeremy Barni , supervisor of the Troop B state police criminal investigation unit.

Sierra Kolarik, 24, of nearby White, identified herself as Chelsie Cline's half-sister. She described the incident as a domestic dispute.

Smith and Chelsie Cline knew each other and he developed an obsession over her, Kolarik told the Tribune-Review.

"I don't understand," she said. "I still don't believe it."

The mass killing happened outside the car wash on Indian Creek Valley Road in Melcroft, which is located about an hour southeast of Pittsburgh and about 9 miles from Seven Springs Mountain Resort.

"We're not sure exactly what occurred," Trooper Robert Broadwater said at the scene. "Trying to investigate why this happened and how it happened."

Ed Bukovac, owner of the car wash, told the Tribune-Review that a neighbor called him around 4 a.m. and said something was wrong at his business. He said police were on the scene by the time he arrived and that he had few details.

A man who lives nearby but who declined to give his name said he heard about 30 gun shots over a span of several minutes. He said he went to the scene and watched as police and paramedics broke out the back window of a green Chevy truck and pulled a woman out. Two other vehicles also were at the scene, he said, a Toyota truck and a Dodge car.

Tow trucks later removed the vehicles from scene. A green pickup truck had a tarp covering its cab.

Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-6622, jhimler@tribweb.com or via Twitter @jhimler_news.

Four people were fatally shot Jan. 28, 2018, in the Saltlick Township village of Melcroft.
Jeff Himler | Tribune-Review
Four people were fatally shot Jan. 28, 2018, in the Saltlick Township village of Melcroft.
Four people were fatally shot Jan. 28, 2018, in the Saltlick Township village of Melcroft.
Jeff Himler | Tribune-Review
Four people were fatally shot Jan. 28, 2018, in the Saltlick Township village of Melcroft.
Four people were fatally shot Jan. 28, 2018, in the Saltlick Township village of Melcroft.
WPXI
Four people were fatally shot Jan. 28, 2018, in the Saltlick Township village of Melcroft.
WPXI is reporting that at least 5 people are dead and multiple are injured after a shooting in Fayette County early Sunday morning, Jan. 28, 2018.
WPXI
WPXI is reporting that at least 5 people are dead and multiple are injured after a shooting in Fayette County early Sunday morning, Jan. 28, 2018.
Police tape is discarded in a trash bin at the scene of a fatal shooting along Indian Creek Valley Road in Fayette County.
Jack Fordyce | Tribune-Review
Police tape is discarded in a trash bin at the scene of a fatal shooting along Indian Creek Valley Road in Fayette County.
Fayette County District Attorney Richard Bower (center) briefs media about the fatal shooting of four people early on Jan. 28, 2018, in the Saltlick Township village of Melcroft.
Jeff Himler | Tribune-Review
Fayette County District Attorney Richard Bower (center) briefs media about the fatal shooting of four people early on Jan. 28, 2018, in the Saltlick Township village of Melcroft.
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