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Posted: 12/24/2005 5:01:50 AM EDT
The Johnstown Paper had this article in this morning.

A former miner on his way to load coal in the furnace at a gun club was shot to death just before dawn Friday.

Neighbors of Charles Boyd Cummings Sr., 50, of Portage Township, discovered him lying on his back with his arms outstretched in the parking lot of the Portage Revolver and Pistol Club.

Cummings’ body was found behind his vehicle, a few feet from steps leading to the white cement-block shooting club and range.

State troopers spent much of the day at the private shooting range, located on Allen Street off Wesley Avenue about a mile south of Portage Borough.

“At this point, we have no suspect,” Trooper Steve Barto, a state police spokesman, said in Ebensburg several hours after the shooting. No suspects had been identified as of late Friday.

Barto said Cummings was following his regular morning schedule as a trustee of the club when he was killed.

“It was a matter of routine. He goes in mornings and stokes the fire for the day,” Barto said of Cummings, a man described by neighbors as generous and always willing to help out.

Cambria County Coroner Dennis Kwiatkowski ruled the death a homicide. He said the victim had been shot with a handgun multiple times. The coroner pronounced the victim dead at the scene.

District Attorney David Tulowitzki would confirm only that the shooting is being investigated as a homicide and any possible motive was still unknown.

Neighbor Jason Mackovyak said he was awake when gunfire rang out at about 5:15 a.m.

While unable to say specifically how many shots he heard, he believed it to be more than two.

A neighbor of Mackovyak, Tyler Trimbath, asleep at the time, said he thinks the first shot awoke him and then he then heard one more.

“I woke up to bang, bang, I heard two shots,” Trimbath said.

Trimbath, his father and Mackovyak walked to the pistol range, a couple hundred feet away, where they immediately spotted two vehicles.

One vehicle they knew was owned by Cummings, who lived just down the road from the club. The other was unknown to them and parked several feet away with the driver still inside.

That driver was one of the first people to report the incident and stayed at the scene to talk to authorities, an official said.

Police officers from Summerhill and Ebensburg were the first to arrive on the scene, which was then turned over to state police for the investigation.

Residents along Allen Street were shocked by the murder in their quiet community.

“I can’t believe it happened, right there. A shooting in Portage,” Trimbath said.

On Friday, neighbors remembered Cummings as a kind-hearted man. He was described as a great guy who always was willing to help a friend in need.

Cummings was a married father of four children.

He had worked at Bethlehem Mine 33 for 18 years. His current job was at Creative Pultrusions in Alum Bank, Bedford County.

The company uses composite materials to make everything from banister railings to I-beams.

Cummings was an avid outdoorsman, interested in hunting and fishing.

Anyone with information may call state police: 471-6500.



This is terrible to happen just before X-mas, or anytime.
Link Posted: 12/24/2005 4:35:07 PM EDT
Most likely a love triangle if robbery is ruled out.

Regards,
Gary
Link Posted: 12/26/2005 9:12:22 PM EDT
Portage is only 5 miles from my house. I used to shoot smallbore at their indoor range in the winter. I've met Chuck before informally while shooting but didn't know him very well. I hope they catch the shitbags that did this. Too bad he wasn't armed.

Small fact about Portage...its a major drug town. I don't know why because its no different than any other town in my area...but for some reason heroin is HUGE there. I'd bet any money he walked up on a drug deal. The sportsmans club is along a back road just outside town and no houses are directly near it. I'll try to update if I hear anything.
Link Posted: 12/27/2005 6:54:33 AM EDT
cms,


I am building my house not far from Portage. Never heard about the herion problem before. Hope that shit stays away from the Richland area.

Link Posted: 12/27/2005 9:33:58 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/27/2005 9:44:27 PM EDT by cms81586]
vatopa,

Richland isn't bad at all...actually there and Westmont are the nicest places to live around Johnstown. Downtown Johnstown has problems in some parts...Kernville and Moxham. I'd carry if I had to leave my vehicle there. Portage is further from Richland than from where I live. It (the heroin problem) is really confined to just Portage...at least the "bad" part of the drug problem. Where are you building in Richland? I went to school at Pitt Johnstown in Richland this past fall semester. All in all Cambria county is a very nice place to live. Cost of living is very low and good jobs are available.

This is the first time anything like this has happened in this area in a long time. Last I can think of is a friend of mine named Calvin Yahner, who was shot to death by one of six people....all whom I attended highschool with. I run with my fire dept and also EMS and was one of the first people on scene. Very erie feeling when you know you're in the presence of a murderer. PSP failed to take evidence properly and now the case is pretty much dead. They can't prove which one did it. I have lost faith in PSP for murder investigations. If this was NYC someone would be rotting in prison. I see all 6 of them regularly around Cresson...and the individual who's house it happened at has OD'ed at least once since then.

Most of it is confined to the bad parts of Johnstown, Altoona, and Tyrone. In Tryone there was a murder-suicide a few weeks ago and then this week there was a 6yr old stabbed in the neck (died) and his mother got stabbed and the shit beat out of her by her asshole ex. Thats a shitty town....

Not trying to scare you away from the area here... and its ashame that people act like they do. It happens everywhere. I carry a rifle in the truck with me any time I'm out driving on back roads. While spotting for deer I've come across kids smoking pot on the road to some farm fields where I usually shoot. I guess these days you never know what someone is gonna do...

ETA: Please keep in mind that since I run EMS I see the worst of the worst... after reading this post I realize that I make this area sound like the Bronx...
Link Posted: 12/27/2005 9:49:24 PM EDT
O yeah... according to the News tonight there are no breakthroughs in the investigation.
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 4:13:29 AM EDT
cms,


I read that same article this am. Unless someone starts bragging about it, I doubt it gets solved, there doesn't seem to be much evidence in the shooting.

I am not surprised about the drug problem, seems they are everywhere. I just relocated from Virginia to here. Well my wife and I also grew up here so it is home. But drugs and traffic were getting bad in Va Beach, so we left.

We are building just inside Adams twnshp on 50 acres road.

Link Posted: 12/28/2005 4:27:25 AM EDT
Even with all that's happened recently I'd have to say that crime in this area isn't that bad...
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 5:58:57 AM EDT
I moved here in July from Baltimore.
I was tired of all the shootings down there.
They average about 1 a day in the city which is where I worked.
I now live just outside of Westmont and love it.
We have had several rapes over here. they prey on the old ladies in teh area.
Look out if one of them come into my home looking.
But with the drug busts and now this shooting, I do not leave the house without a gun on.
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 2:02:41 PM EDT
Victims stepson was arrested along with the victims common law wife. No motive mentioned.
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 3:00:01 PM EDT
That is sad, But it is usually those closest to a person that hurts them the most.
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 8:36:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Truckie351:
Victims stepson was arrested along with the victims common law wife. No motive mentioned.



+1 to that...heard this morning at work but couldn't post online. Fry them if they're guilty.
Link Posted: 12/31/2005 2:52:53 AM EDT
OMG....I was just up at that range back in May for a THR get together. What a beautiful range......terrible to hear that something like this happened.

FWIW.....when we were coming out of the range we passed a small group of 'yutes meandering up the dirt road which is obviously marked as being private.
Link Posted: 12/31/2005 1:19:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By TallNorton:
OMG....I was just up at that range back in May for a THR get together. What a beautiful range......terrible to hear that something like this happened.

FWIW.....when we were coming out of the range we passed a small group of 'yutes meandering up the dirt road which is obviously marked as being private.



You sure you were at Portage? Its along a paved road there are houses close, but not in a direct line of sight. Either way, I hope they convict and sentence.
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 4:04:17 AM EDT

Originally Posted By cms81586:

Originally Posted By TallNorton:
OMG....I was just up at that range back in May for a THR get together. What a beautiful range......terrible to hear that something like this happened.

FWIW.....when we were coming out of the range we passed a small group of 'yutes meandering up the dirt road which is obviously marked as being private.



You sure you were at Portage? Its along a paved road there are houses close, but not in a direct line of sight. Either way, I hope they convict and sentence.



From what it sounds like there are two ranges out that way

The place I visited was about 10 minutes outside of town up on a hill. It was off of a paved road, but you drove probably 100-200 yards back up into the woods and hang a right into the rifle range. I didn't get up to the other range up the hill.

It was definitely Portage as we visited that crazy little grocery store in town.
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 5:53:20 AM EDT
Tall,

In this part of the world, there is a gun range on every corner. Including most folks back yards.
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