Three Killed in Attack on Rural Pennsylvania Municipal Meeting
A man feuding with officials in his rural Pennsylvania town over living conditions at his ramshackle, trash-filled property killed three people at a municipal meeting – including at least one town official – in a rampage that blew holes through the walls and sent people crawling for cover, police said.
The gunman, Rockne Newell, was tackled to the ground and shot with his gun after firing gunshots through the wall and bursting into the meeting Monday night, witnesses said. They said he then went to his car and got another weapon to keep firing.
“I heard more than 10 shots,” Pocono Record reporter Chris Reber said in a first-person account. “It was automatic, like a string of firecrackers.”
Over the years, authorities have responded to Newell’s property as a result of neighbor complaints and on one occasion in 2009 found human fecal matter in buckets there, according to previous reports in the Pocono Record.
The township determined he was improperly disposing of sewage with no septic system or permit for one.
In a previous account, Newell said he couldn’t afford septic hookup fees.
“If I lose this property, I have nowhere else to go,” Newell told the Pocono Record in June.
“What they’re doing to me, what they’ve been doing to me for so long, it’s wrong.”
There were real heroes here. People who did not consider their own lives in protecting others.
I went outside to the parking lot. There was a girl there calling 911. I was taking cover behind a truck, an SUV. I was about 50 yards away.
It wasn’t real to me until I went back inside and saw people bleeding.