Victim’s dad: Son, killer had run-in before car-wash rampage
MELCROFT, Pa. – The father of one of four people gunned down by a jealous ex-boyfriend at a car wash says the shooter had an altercation with his son at a bar hours before the deadly rampage.
Scott Porterfield told the Tribune Review he has seen security footage from Tall Cedars lounge in rural Donegal, about 50 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, that shows the shooter placing his hand on his son Billy Porterfield’s shoulder early Sunday.
A staff member asked Timothy Smith to leave, and his son remained at the bar, he said.
Hours later, police said, Smith fatally shot 27-year-old Billy Porterfield and three others at a self-serve car wash in rural Fayette County: Chelsie Cline, 25; Cortney Snyder, 23; and Seth Cline, 21. Another woman who managed to hide in the back seat of a truck survived with minor injuries.
Smith, 28, suffered an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head and was on life support until his death Sunday night, state police said. District Attorney Richard Bower said he couldn’t comment on why the death wasn’t announced until Tuesday.
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 whether Smith knew they would be there is unclear.
Investigators are trying to get 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.”