State College Police have confirmed that four people have died in Thursday night’s shooting, including the shooter.
Officials said Jordan Witmer, 21, of Bellefonte, began shooting at the PJ Harrigan’s on South Atherton Street around 10 p.m. They said he shot and killed 61-year-old Dean Beachy, of Millersburg, Ohio.
Witmer also shot and critically injured 19-year-old Steven Beachy, and 21-year-old Nicole Abrino. Police believe the Abrino was Witmer’s current or ex-girlfriend. They were taken to Mount Nittany Medical Center. Steven Beachy later died from his injuries. Police said Abrino had a chest wound and is in critical condition.
According to police, Witmer and Abrino were sitting at one side of the bar. Dean and Steven Beachy were sitting across the bar from Witmer and Abrino. At one point, Witmer crossed the bar to near where the Beachy’s were sitting. Police are still investigating what caused Witmer to draw a small caliber semi-automatic gun and start shooting. Police said there were two employees also in the bar at the time of the shooting.
We were able to confirm that Dean Beachy was in town for the Penn’s Valley Live Stock auction that is taking place Friday. The auction is in Centre Hall, right across from the American Legion on Route 45.
According to police, Witmer drove away from the scene and made it about half a mile before crashing into a fence on Waupelani Drive near the State College YMCA. He then ran from the car and broke into a home on Tussey Lane.
At approximately 10:46 p.m., police responded to a reported burglary in progress. That’s where Witmer shot and killed 83-year-old George McCormick. Police said McCormick’s wife, Joann, locked herself in a bedroom and called 911.
When police arrived at the scene, they found both George McCormick and Witmer dead. Police say Witmer shot himself.
“It’s Happy Valley, we like to think these things can’t happen here…but one of the things it makes you realize is that it can happen here and it does happen here,” said State College Police Chief John Gardner. “I guess it’s a sign of the times in the world we live in here.”
Police say the only connection between the Witmer and the victims was the woman who they believe is his current or ex-girlfriend. They believe the other victims were random.
“I know we were starting to get some inquiries about whether there was a second shooter or whatever,” said Chief Gardner. “There is no danger to anyone else. The actor that did the shootings is now deceased and he was tied to both of these.”
Police are still investigating the shooting, and anyone with information is asked to call police.
An autopsy on the shooter is scheduled for 5 p.m. at Mount Nittany.