August 6, 2013 - 09:02 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Three people were killed and three wounded when gunfire erupted on Monday, Aug 5 at a public meeting in a government building in rural Pennsylvania, with police arresting the suspected shooter shortly after the rampage, police said, according to Reuters.
Rockne Newell, 59, was arrested in connection with the shooting in Ross Township in the Pocono Mountains region of Pennsylvania, state police Captain Edward Hoke said at a press conference. Police said Newell may have been shot in the leg during the incident but could not confirm his condition.
State police said they believed Newell was operating alone and that he had been in a dispute with the local council over issues related to a sewer on his property.
At around 7:15 pm local time (2315 GMT), Newell allegedly approached the building where the meeting was being held, opening fire through the windows with a "long gun," Hoke said.
Newell then allegedly walked through the building firing multiple shots before going to a car with Texas license plates to retrieve a hand gun. When he re-entered the building, he was restrained by two people, police said. There were around 15 people at the meeting.
The Pocono Record newspaper, which said one of its reporters had witnessed the shooting, said the shots were fired through a wall and into the meeting.
"I saw smoke and plaster flying out, blowing out through the walls," reporter Chris Reber wrote in a firsthand account of the shooting. The noise was "like a string of firecrackers."
Reber wrote that he dropped to the floor when the shooting began, and crawled out a side door. "Everyone got behind a table," Reber wrote. "Some of the supervisors were over on the side throwing up."
At one point, he wrote, a woman ran to the door and opened it, only to see the gunman standing there.
"A man pushed her aside and was shot," Reber wrote.
Ross Township is about 90 miles north of Philadelphia. State police said they would provide more information on Tuesday.