Bruce Rogal stunned family, friends, neighbors, and residents at the Bellingham Retirement Community in West Chester when he burst in and shot his parents to death. The tragedy continued when his own life ended after a massive police manhunt, which devolved into a shootout and car crash.
ABC 6 reported that Rogal’s neighbors helped his ex-wife escape him. He drove by and attempted to shoot her as she changed her car’s oil in her driveway. Apparently, Bruce Rogal and Kitty, his ex-wife, had just finalized their divorce that day. Bruce had received the divorce paperwork, and was so upset and enraged that he drove by and made the attempt on Kitty’s life.
“He just lost it – he just lost it when the divorce was final, which was yesterday. He lost it,” said neighbor Janice Everett. Kitty currently resides in West Bradford Township in Pennsylvania. Some of Rogal’s anger apparently stemmed from the fact that Kitty was awarded that home, the former family home, in the divorce.
Neighbors speak out after helping ex-wife escape Chester County gunman https://t.co/8KP0XOpz5H
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Around 5:45 p.m. Rogal drove by his wife’s home and fired six shots at her, hitting nearby homes but not injuring anyone.
“Everybody realized she was running from the ex-husband, he was trying to shoot at her,” said neighbor Pauline Hart.
Janice Everett and another neighbor, John Bissinger helped her escape into their home.
“He was running through the front yard chasing her, shooting a gun. Thank God he missed her. He was only 20 feet behind her,” said Bissinger.
When police arrived on the scene, Bruce Rogal had managed to escape. He went to the retirement center, arriving at around 6:15 p.m. Once there, he tragically murdered his parents, William and Nancy, and proceeded to lead police on a massive manhunt for several hours.
Police helicopters tracked Rogal as he headed back towards the West Bradford Township home. No roadblocks were in place, and it appeared Rogal was on a mission. His ex-wife was no longer there, of course, but Rogal was unaware of that.
He and police officers exchanged fire, and the chase ended when Rogal crashed into the home he had once lived in with Kitty. He was pronounced dead on the scene, though it is unclear if he died as a result of the car crash, or from gunfire exchanged with local law enforcement.
The home is now bearing many signs of the rampage and destruction wrought by Rogal. Police are still investigating the crime and more details are sure to emerge as the investigation continues.