Poconos Shooting Suspect Rockne Newell Wishes He’d Killed More People
Pennsylvania authorities today praised two “truly heroic” men who tackled a man after he allegedly opened fire at a town supervisors’ meeting Monday night, killing three people and later saying he wished he had “killed more of them,” according to court documents.
Bernie Kozen, who helped subdue suspect Rockne Newell, 59, told officials that during the struggle, the suspect yelled, “You took my property,” followed by an expletive, the documents state.
The documents say that as Newell, who was shot during the encounter, was escorted from the scene for treatment, he said, “I wish I killed more of them.”
Though Mr. Newell’s dispute with local officials dates back many years, the animosity apparently grew in February 2012 when, the minutes of the township’s supervisors’ meeting show, the board voted to take Mr. Newell to court for failing to adhere to local zoning and sewer rules.
Then, last October, as part of a last-ditch effort to stave off eviction, Mr. Newell sought to raise $10,000 on an Internet fund-raising page to pay for legal fees and to make some of the improvements demanded by township officials. In his plea, Mr. Newell wrote: “I need to clean up & I need a lawyer, I have no place to go and my 2 rescue dogs will be put to sleep because no one else will take them.” The effort — which he called “Save Rocky’s Home” — failed to garner a single donation. He was eventually forced to leave his property, according to the authorities.
On Monday evening, as he was being led away by the police, a television reporter with WFMZ-TV in Allentown, Pa., asked Mr. Newell why.
“They tormented me for 23 years,” he said. “I couldn’t take it.”