CHESTER COUNTY, PA – Bruce Rogal, the man wanted for shooting his parents at a Chester County retirement community on Wednesday evening, is dead, authorities confirmed early Thursday.
“Bruce Rogal is dead. There is no ongoing threat in Chester County. All law enforcement personnel involved are unhurt,” District Attorney Tom Hogan said in a statement. “It is a tragedy that the defendant killed his elderly parents. All of the first responders did a tremendous job under enormous pressure.”
The DA is expected to release additional details on the situation, but reports indicate Rogal died after a police chase in which he crashed into a house in the West Bradford Township neighborhood where his ex-wife lives, 6ABC reported.
State troopers reportedly exchanged open fire on Rogal, though an exact cause of death has not yet been confirmed.
Authorities were searching for Rogal, 59, of Glenmoore, after the fatal shooting at 6:15 p.m. at an East Goshen retirement community. He was considered “armed and extremely dangerous,” Hogan said at a Wednesday night press conference. Police said they were searching across the Philadelphia region and surrounding states.
The deadly shooting spree was sparked by Rogal’s divorce, authorities said. The divorce order, which was issued earlier Wednesday, awarded his ex-wife the home. “That appears to be what set him off today,” Hogan said.
Rogal drove to his ex-wife’s home in West Bradford at around 5:45 p.m., according to the DA. She was standing in the driveway changing the oil in her car when he fired several shots at her, missing each time. Homes nearby were hit by the bullets.
From his ex-wife’s home, Rogal drove to Bellingham, a senior living facility on East Boot Road in East Goshen, at around 6:15 p.m.
He went into the apartment his parents, William and Nancy Rogal, shared at the center, shooting and killing and them, the DA said. Both of his parents were in the late eighties.
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That’s when Rogal went on the run. A heavy police presence descended on the area, with first responders, police, and helicopters swarming the area. Westtown-East Goshen Regional Police issued a shelter in place warning for residents in the area, urging everyone to lock all windows and doors and to stay inside. Bellingham was locked down as the area was secured.
Many residents were safely returned to their apartments in the facility later Wednesday night, Hogan said. Displaced residents who lived near the crime scene, as well as family members of other residents, are being housed at East Goshen Elementary School, which served as law enforcement’s headquarters for the incident.
Image via Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan