PITTSBURGH — Three people were killed and three wounded yesterday during a shooting rampage by an allegedly disgruntled resident at a public meeting in a government building in rural Pennsylvania, police said.
The monthly meeting of the board of supervisors of Ross Township in the Pocono Mountains region of Pennsylvania is usually a sleepy affair — minutes from June’s meeting include a recital of the US pledge of allegiance and discussion of the location of a driveway in a subdivision.
But not long after an estimated 15 to 18 council officials and residents sat down to talk township business, a gunman open fire with a “long gun” and was reportedly wrestled to the ground when he returned to the scene with a handgun, police said.
“No one wanted to move,” Secretary Treasurer Doris Price was quoted as saying by the local newspaper, the Pocono Record. “Everyone was hiding.”
Police said they had arrested Rockne Newell, 59, in connection with the shooting in this small town of around 5,500, about 90 miles north of Philadelphia.
Newell may have been shot in the leg during the incident but officials could not confirm his condition, state police Captain Edward Hoke said at a press conference.
The shooting in Ross Township comes after a rash of shootings, some of them high profile such as when a gunman opened fire at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, last December killing 20 children and six adults.
That massacre in particular sparked a national debate over gun rights in America that resulted in an unsuccessful push for background check legislation in Congress. (Reuters)