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Family members, small community in shock after 4 killed in shooting

MELCROFT, Pa. — A small Fayette County community is forever changed after a mass shooting took the lives of four people at a car wash early Sunday morning.

Pennsylvania State Police said 28-year-old Timothy Smith shot and killed two men and two women just before 3 a.m. at the car wash on Indian Creek Valley Road in Melcroft.

PHOTOS: Fayette County car wash shooting

MELCROFT SHOOTING: What we know about 4 people killed at car wash

Smith is on life support and is not expected to survive, police said. He sustained what investigators believe to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

The victims -- William Porterfield, 27; Chelsie Cline, 25; Cortney Snyder, 23; and Seth Cline, 21 -- were pronounced dead at the scene.

"It's real hard," said John Wolf, Porterfield's friend. "That's why I moved from Pittsburgh to here, to get away from all of the crime and violence."

“It’s hard to deal with,” Jeff Cline, a cousin of Chelsie Cline and her half-brother Seth Cline, said. “They were good kids.”

Investigators are still working to determine why this happened at a car wash in the middle of the night because it's still unclear why the suspect and the victims met there.

Channel 11 has confirmed the four victims were seen drinking at Tall Cedars Tavern in nearby Donegal on Saturday night.

While Smith had been at the bar before, no one Channel 11 spoke with remembered seeing him that night.

Employees said they didn't notice any fights or problems, but turned over all of their surveillance video to investigators.

Chelsie Cline’s sister, Sierra Kolarik, said Chelsie had briefly been involved with Smith and broke things off months ago. Kolarik told Channel 11 News that Smith would still do things for her, such as bringing her flowers when she was sick.

Just four days before the shooting, Chelsie Cline shared a post on Facebook with a quote, "After this week I rlly need to get taken out....on a date or by a sniper either one is fine with me at this point."

Smith commented on the post, "I could do both."

“He would leave her stuff on her car. She'd get done with work and she'd come out and there would be a case of beer on her hood or scratch-off tickets or anything. If he found out she was sick, he'd bring her flowers,” Kolarik said.

Investigators are waiting on the phone records of the victims and the suspect to determine what led to the shooting.

Cortney Snyder was a mother to a 4-year-old boy. A friend said she would do anything for anyone and worked at Living Treasures Animal Park.

Investigators said Smith used a semi-automatic rifle and a handgun in the shooting.

According to police, Smith arrived at the scene earlier in a red Toyota Tacoma and parked on the side of the car wash. Police said Smith wore a body armor carrier and had several magazines of ammo.

Police said the victims arrived in two separate vehicles: Porterfield and Chelsie Cline in a silver Dodge, and Snyder and Seth Cline in a green pickup truck.

Porterfield and Chelsie Cline were killed inside their vehicle while near the side of the car wash, officials said. Snyder and Seth Cline were also shot and killed in their vehicle.

“That’s crazy. This happens in Pittsburgh, not here,” Dick Kalp, who lives behind a nearby convenience store and called police, said. “This is a quiet place usually.”

One woman took cover in the back seat of the pickup truck and avoided being shot, police said. She suffered minor injuries from broken glass.

A memorial has been started outside the car wash as family, friends and the community come to grips with the tragedy.