3 dead, 2 injured in shooting spree near Penn State University

STATE COLLEGE, Pennsylvania -- Three people are dead, including the suspected gunman, and two others are hospitalized after a shooting spree that began in a bar and ended in a home near Penn State University.

According to WHTM-TV, the first shooting occurred Thursday about 10:30 p.m. at P.J. Harrigan's Bar & Grill on Atherton Street in State College, Pennsylvania.

The bar is located inside the Ramada Hotel & Conference Center and is about two miles from Penn State University's main campus.

Police have identified the gunman as 21-year-old Jordan Witmer, who they say shot and killed 62-year-old Dean Beachy, of Millersburg, Ohio.
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State College, Pa. Police Chief John Gardner provides an update on the shooting spree near Penn State University on January 24, 2019.

Two other victims, a man and a woman, were also shot and rushed to the hospital in critical condition.

Authorities said Witmer, of Bellefonte, drove away from the bar, crashed his car, and then broke into a home.

Once inside, they said he shot and killed the homeowner before shooting and killing himself.

The homeowner has been identified as 83-year-old George McCormick.

Police said McCormick's wife locked herself in the bathroom and called 911.
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RAW VIDEO: See video of the first responders at a bar near Penn State University following a fatal shooting on January 24, 2019.

"It's Happy Valley, we like to think these things can't happen here," State College Police Chief John 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 here."

Penn State issued the following statement Friday morning:

The safety of our students is a top priority at Penn State. Our thoughts are with those in the State College community impacted by this tragedy. State College Police responded to the shooting in the borough last night as it was not on Penn State's campus. The alert system includes incidents that are within Clery-reportable locations. Nevertheless, we understand our community concerns and the University will continue to review processes.

It is unclear what motivated the shooting spree or if Witmer knew any of the victims.

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

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