About noon Sunday, Vincent M. Kelley talked to his 19-year-old daughter and the two made plans to share a meal to celebrate Father's Day before she left for work.
Hours later, before they had even met, he would be dead, shot by an armed robber he was trying to stop from fleeing a Washington County grocery store, authorities said.
"It doesn't surprise us that that's what he did," his stepsister Linda Lucas, 42, said Sunday night. "He was always thinking of somebody else, what he could do to help other people."
The incident started at about 2:30 p.m. at the Citizens Bank branch inside the Strabane Square Giant Eagle in South Strabane.
Township police said a masked man wearing a hat and carrying an umbrella entered the store, showed a gun at the bank counter, left with an amount of money police did not disclose and got into a car.
Mr. Kelley, 46, of Washington, grocery shopping at the time with a friend, followed the man as he went outside. He tried to subdue the robber inside a car, the Washington County coroner said, but the man shot him several times, drove away and left him in the parking lot.
Washington city Councilman Joe Manning said Monday that he and his wife were shopping inside the busy supermarket Sunday afternoon and were near the bank when he heard a woman scream.
He said he saw a man in a straw hat with an umbrella run out of the store and a man, Mr. Kelley, trailing him.
"This was a very surreal situation," Mr. Manning said.
Mr. Manning and eight to 10 other men went outside thinking "we couldn't leave him alone with his guy."
He saw red smoke coming out of the car, likely from the dye pack, then heard "four quick shots" and a man near the car -- likely Mr. Kelley's friend -- say, "He shot him."
He said he saw the man speed off around the side of the building with Mr. Kelley's legs hanging out of the back driver's side.
Mr. Manning, a former fire captain and EMT, checked for a pulse but noticed no movement of any kind.
Four bullet wounds were in Mr. Kelley's chest, he said.
Mr. Kelley twitched and Mr. Manning instructed bystanders to cut off his clothes. He used a defibrillator and a store employee performed CPR before an ambulance arrived.
Mr. Kelley was pronounced dead at Washington Hospital at 2:57 p.m.
Washington County District Attorney Eugene Vittone said police were looking for a white, four-door compact sedan that the robber was driving, likely with red paint inside from a dye pack in the stolen money.
Officials released a photo of the suspect and said he was about 6 feet tall with a thin build.
South Strabane Detective Mike Schidlmeier said today that several witnesses at the scene reported seeing the red dye pack discharge.
The car was last seen heading toward SR 19 in an unknown direction.
State police and the FBI are aiding in the investigation.
The detective asked that people with information about the car or the suspect call South Strabane police at 724-225-8111.
An Ohio County, W.Va., sheriff's office dispatcher said Pennsylvania State Police asked them to check for the car around the Cabela's store near Wheeling Sunday after 4:30 p.m.
Mr. Kelley, who worked in the gas industry, enjoyed spending time with his family and riding motorcycles, Ms. Lucas said.
Although technically her stepbrother, they never used the prefix. He also had two other siblings.
Ms. Lucas remembered family camping trips growing up and scheming with her brother to hide bad report cards -- a couple of times they got caught.
These days, with a family of his own, including an 8-month-old grandson, they saw each other less, but he would call often to check in.
He was loyal, thoughtful and, she added, "always happy -- whether he should have been happy or not."mobilehome - breaking - neigh_south - neigh_washington
Molly Born: firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-263-1944 and on Twitter: @borntolede. First Published June 16, 2013 4:45 PM