Rockney Warren Newell was identified as the suspect in the Ross Township, Penn., municipal Town Hall meeting shooting on Monday night. The suspect, whose name was spelled “Rockne” in other reports, allegedly had a dispute with the local township over his property and he was forced to vacate it last year.
In the shooting, three people were killed and a few others were wounded, according to reports.
Newell reportedly was in a dispute with the township for around 18 years over the state of his property. A judge told him to leave his property last year.
“They have no right to kick me off my property,” Newell told Ponoco Record in June. “They call my property an ‘eyesore.’ When I bought it, it was one of only three properties on the entire road that didn’t have what they call ‘junk.'”
At the time, the paper reported that Newell was living out of a 1984 Pontiac Fiero. “I don’t mow the property because I don’t like lawns,” he also said.
Newell allegedly approached the Municipal Building while the town’s monthly Town Hall was taking place, opening fire into the windows. He also reportedly had a scope.
He then briefly entered the building and kept firing, reported NBC.
Chris Reber, a reporter for The Pocono Record, wrote in his paper: “I ran out after the first round of shooting. I dropped to the floor. That’s what everyone did. It was automatic, like a string of firecrackers. That’s what everyone said. Then it stopped and I crawled out the side door.”
He added: “The gunman was this guy wearing a blue Hawaiian shirt. I saw him go back out to his car — a silver Impala — and get another gun. I saw him get something out of his car. I didn’t see blood when I left. It wasn’t real to me until I went back inside and saw people bleeding.”
Guy Miller, Emergency Management Director, told ABC that the gunman “started shooting randomly at the people that were in that room.”
He added, “It is rather disturbing for us, you see it all over and here it is in your hometown.”