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Pa. man charged with killing 3: Town stole my home

August 6, 2013 • National News


The property of Rockne Newell is seen, Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2013, in Saylorsburg, Pa. Newell has been arraigned on homicide charges and other counts after police say he fatally shot three people during a municipal meeting in the Poconos on Monday night, amid a dispute with the township. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

SAYLORSBURG, Pa. (AP) — A disabled junk dealer feuding with local officials over his debris-strewn property packed a rental car with guns and ammunition before opening fire at a town meeting and killing three men, authorities said Tuesday.

Rockne Newell, 59, had lost his property this year in a court fight over complaints that he lived in a storage shed, built an illegal culvert and used a bucket outside as a toilet.

At his arraignment on homicide charges Tuesday morning, a judge asked Newell if he owned any real estate.

“They stole it from me. That’s what started all this,” he replied.

Newell allegedly used a Ruger Mini-14 rifle to blast a barrage of gunfire through a wall into the meeting room Monday night in Ross Township, about 85 miles north of Philadelphia, before entering the room and shooting a supervisor and four residents, two of whom survived.

Newell then retreated to the car and picked up a revolver, authorities said. When he returned to the meeting room, the 5-foot-10, 240-pound suspect was tackled by two men and shot in the leg during the scuffle, officials said.

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