Bellingham Retirement Community Shooting

On Thursday, September 20th, at around 1:30 a.m., a seven hour shooting rampage finally ended. According to Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan, through 6abc, “It all began when Rogal received notice that his divorce was finalized Wednesday afternoon, and in the judgement, the family home was awarded to his now ex-wife.” Bruce Rogal was 59 years old when he claimed three lives, including his own.

On Wednesday the 19th, around 5:45 p.m., Rogal drove to his ex-wife’s home and fired at her. The police found six casings, some of which hit nearby houses. Rogal’s wife ran from where she had been changing the oil in her car in the driveway into the home of Janice Everett and John Bissinger, who helped her escape. Bissinger has been quoted saying, “He was running through the front yard chasing her, shooting a gun. He was only 20 feet behind her.”  By the time the police arrived on scene, the suspect had already fled.

Around 6:15 p.m., Rogal drove to the Bellingham Retirement Community in East Goshen Township and fatally shot his parents, William and Nancy. Both victims, shot to death in their apartment, were in their late 80s.  He then fled the scene, leading to a local lockdown and a massive manhunt. Police forces from all over the county converged in the attempt to locate Rogal. As he drove past the PA State Police barracks, troops gave chase, exchanging gunfire with Rogal (The time of this encounter was not reported).

A police helicopter assisted in the chase, where state troopers were able to follow Rogal for a few miles into the West Bradford Township – directly into the neighborhood where his ex-wife lives and where the rampage started hours earlier. The police chase ended around 1:00 a.m. when Rogal crashed his silver Honda Odyssey into the side of the house. His ex-wife was not home at the time of the crash.

He was found dead in the driver’s seat of his car with weapons next to him. Although it is not clear if he was killed by trooper fire or if he committed suicide by his own weapon, Rogal was declared dead on the scene by police.

When family members returned to the home, they found signs of his destructive rampage. Although Rogal has been positively identified by multiple sources and his death has been confirmed, as of September 22nd police said they were still investigating the crimes.

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