2 Dead, 2 Critical After Shooting Near Penn State University

Authorities say two victims and a gunman are dead after a man opened fire at a hotel bar near Penn State University Thursday night and then again at a random house. Two others were last reported in critical condition.

WHTM-TV reports that the first shooting occurred at about 10:30 p.m. Thursday at P.J. Harrigan's Bar & Grill on Atherton Street in State College, Pennsylvania. The bar is inside the Ramada Hotel & Conference Center and about two miles from Penn State's main campus.

According to The Centre Daily Times, 21-year-old Jordan Witmer of Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, identified by the coroner, shot and killed Dean Beachy, a 62-year-old from Millersburg, Ohio, at the bar.

Witmer also shot another man and woman, who was either his girlfriend or ex-girlfriend, at the bar, State College police chief John Gardner told WJAC-TV. The injured man and woman were taken to nearby Mt. Nittany Medical Center, then eventually flown to another hospital in critical condition.

Witmer then drove away from the bar, crashed his car nearby and broke into a home, where he shot and killed 82-year-old George McCormick inside as McCormick's wife locked herself in the bathroom and dialed 911. McCormick reportedly had no prior relationship with Witmer.

By the time police arrived to the home, Witmer had shot and killed himself, according to WJAC.

A car, believed to be the gunman's was surrounded by police and eventually towed away and escorted by State College police cruisers. The car appeared to have an out-of-state license plate.

"We're still trying to piece together this tragedy and try to make sense of it. But the more I think about it, there's no sense to it," Gardner said at an overnight briefing, ABC News reports.

Police said the shooter's motive is unclear at this time.

"It's Happy Valley, we like to think these things can't happen here," Gardner said. "But one of the things it makes you realize is that it can happen here and it does happen here. I guess it's a sign of the times in the world we live in."

0comments

Penn State issued a statement on Twitter early Friday morning: "We understand the concerns and safety is a priority. The University is looking into the alerts and will share an update."

Gardner said he plans to release more information at a briefing on Friday afternoon.