State College Police Investigation Into Fatal Shootings Continues

Jan 29, 2019

P.J. Harrigan's Bar and Grill at the Ramada Hotel on South Atherton Street in State College was the site of a shooting Jan. 24, 2019.
Credit Kristine Allen / WPSU

State College police are still trying to find what drove a 21-year-old man to kill three people and seriously injure another before killing himself Thursday night. 

State College Police Chief John Gardner said detectives are looking into every possible angle to find answers about why Jordan Witmer fatally shot three people.

“One of things we want to be able do is to talk to the best witness we’re going to have, and that’s Nicole Abrino," Gardner said Monday. "And she’s not able to do that right now. We’re hoping at some time in the future — when she makes a full recovery, and we’re praying that she does make a full recovery — that she’s going to be able to shed some light on this.”

Witmer was with Abrino at P.J. Harrigan’s. He shot and killed Dean Beachy and his son, Steven. He shot Abrino, before fleeing, then broke into the home of George McCormick, fatally shooting him before killing himself.

Witmer, 21, lived in the Bellefonte area. He had recently finished serving in the military.

PennLive reported Witmer recently pleaded guilty to three misdemeanors in Kentucky after crashing a truck. He reportedly fled the scene and had a preliminary blood alcohol level over the legal limit.

Gardner said that although Witmer is dead, police still want to know why he did it.

“There are also family members of the victims that want some answers too, and I think it would be unfair to them if we didn’t take it to the hilt and try to ascertain and obtain those answers,” Gardner said.

Gardner is asking anyone with information that might be useful to the case to contact State College police.