Clockwise: Seth Cline, Chelsie Cline, William Porterfield, Cortney Snyder
January 29, 2018 05:41 PM

A Pennsylvania man wielding multiple guns and wearing tactical gear allegedly fatally shot four people at a car wash Sunday before shooting and critically wounding himself, PEOPLE confirms.

Police allege 28-year-old Timothy Smith was armed with an AR-15, a 9 mm handgun and a .308-caliber rifle and was wearing tactical gear when he opened fire on January 28 at 2:52 a.m. at a self-serve car wash in rural Melcroft.

William Porterfield, 27, and 25-year-old Chelsie Cline were fatally shot at close range when they stepped out of their Dodge Stratus, Pennsylvania State Police trooper Robert Broadwater tells PEOPLE.

After allegedly shooting Porterfield and Cline, Smith allegedly fatally shot Courtney Snyder, 23, and 21-year-old Seth Cline, who were inside their Chevy Silverado pickup truck. An adult female passenger, who was hiding in the back of the truck, survived and sustained minor injuries from broken glass.

“We are assuming he went after William and Chelsie first and the other two came in after the fact,” alleges Broadwater. “I’m assuming the AR-15 was used first but it is not confirmed.”

Police say a motive is still unclear.

“We are not sure why they were there … but we do believe Mr. Smith was waiting for them there,” says Broadwater.

Timothy Smith

• For more compelling true crime coverage, follow our Crime magazine on Flipboard.

However, Broadwater says Smith knew his alleged victims. “There were six people there and we know they all knew each other, but we just don’t know the extent of what their relationships were.”

Stephanie Strasburg/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette/AP

Family members said Smith had once dated Chelsie Cline and that he allegedly became obsessed with her, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

“We are looking at everything,” says Broadwater. “Until we have hard evidence it is only speculation.”

• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.

According to the Tribune-Review, just days before the shooting, a message on a Facebook account appearing to belong to Cline read, “After this week I rlly [sic] need to get taken out….on a date or by a sniper either one is fine w [sic] me at this point.”


A comment on the post from an account appearing to belong to Smith read, “I could do both.”

After the fatal shooting, Broadwater says investigators believe Smith shot himself in the head. The assault weapon and the 9mm were found near his body. Smith was transported to a nearby hospital and isn’t expected to survive, says Broadwater.

You May Like