Details emerge about shooting rampage near Penn State

Details emerge about shooting rampage near Penn State
Police are investigating what led up to Thursday night's deadly shootings in State College, Pennsylvania. (Source: WJAC/CNN)

STATE COLLEGE, PA (WJAC/CNN) – New details are emerging about the deadly shootings in State College, PA, on Thursday night.

Police said a 21-year-old man shot and killed three people and wounded a fourth before taking his own life.

Police confirmed that Jordan Witmer was at P.J. Harrigan’s Bar and Grill at the Ramada Hotel, near Penn State University, for what’s termed “a while” before the shooting.

He was drinking with 21-year-old Nicole Abrino.

A father and son were also in the bar.

"It was learned that Jordan Witmer and Nicole Abrino were at the bar together, and were sitting at one side of the bar,” said Chief John Gardner of the State College Police Department. “Dean and Steven Beachy were sitting at the other side of the bar across from Witmer and Abrino.

“At one point, Witmer got up from his bar seat and walked to the other side of the bar near the Beachys, where the Beachys were seated. We are still trying to determine what led Witmer to pull out a handgun and begin shooting."

It’s unclear whether the Beachys may have interceded in an argument involving Witmer before the shooting.

The Beachys, auctioneers from Ohio, were in town for an animal auction. They stayed at the Ramada often.

Dean Beachy, 61, died at the bar after being shot in the head. His son, 19-year-old Steven Beachy, died later Friday from a gunshot wound.

Abrino was also shot. Her condition is unknown at this time.

Authorities haven’t specified what type of handgun Witmer had, but they did confirm he had a legal carry permit.

"He was lawfully allowed to carry a weapon and he was in a place where he was legal to carry it," said Bernie Cantorna, the Centre County district attorney.

Witmer fled the bar and crashed his car about a mile away.

He stormed into a house, where he then killed 83-year-old George McCormick before he killed himself.

McCormick and Witmer both died from gunshot wounds to the head. Another person was home at the time, but police said she wasn’t injured.

Police said it appears Witmer randomly chose McCormick’s home after crashing his car, shooting his way inside through a sliding glass door.

Chief Gardner struggled at times to talk about the shooting rampage.

"This is probably my first recollection in almost 29 years that I've seen something like this," he said.

Gardner stressed that investigators believe this was an isolated incident, and that there were no other shooters besides Witmer, but he said it could be weeks before authorities sort out the details.

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