January 29, 2018 / 5:56 PM / in 10 months

Jealous former boyfriend behind Pennsylvania car wash attack: reports

Police block the road after officer-involved shooting in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, U.S., January 18, 2018. REUTERS/Daniel Shanken

(Reuters) - Pennsylvania police did not dispute local media reports on Monday that said the man who shot and killed four people at a car wash outside Pittsburgh on Sunday was a jealous former lover of one of the women killed.

Timothy Smith, who police say used a semi-automatic rifle and a handgun in his attack, had dated one of his alleged victims, Chelsie Cline, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and other local news outlets reported, citing interviews with victims’ relatives.

Smith, 28, was on life support at a nearby hospital on Monday, where he was being treated for what police said was a possible self-inflicted gunshot to the head, Pennsylvania State Police spokesman Robert Broadwater said. Earlier police reports that said Smith had died in the attack were incorrect, he said.

Broadwater did not dispute, but could not confirm, local media reports about the relationship between Smith and his alleged victims.

“We understand what the family and friends are saying, they probably know more than we do,” Broadwater said. “I’m sure it will be confirmed.”

Cline, 25, had recently broken off a romantic relationship with Smith, the shooter, and begun dating William Scott Porterfield, 27, Porterfield’s widow, Jenna Porterfield, told the Post-Gazette.

Porterfield could not be reached for immediate comment.

The other victims included Chelsie Cline’s brother, Seth, and his friend, Courtney Snyder, police said.

Reporting by Jonathan Allen in New York; Editing by Bernadette Baum

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