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DA: Man who killed parents had ‘grudge against the world’

September 26, 2018

WEST CHESTER, Pa. (AP) — A man who fired shots at his ex-wife, killed his parents at a retirement center and then took his own life during a police chase “had a grudge against the world,” a Pennsylvania prosecutor said Wednesday.

Chester County District Attorney Thomas Hogan released new details about last week’s shootings and manhunt for Bruce Rogal.

Rogal “went through his life with a grudge against everybody, everybody he met, everybody he ran into he disliked, he despised, he fought with, he complained about — and that included his own family,” Hogan said.

He said Rogal, 59, and his wife, who have a 27-year-old son, had been married a long time but were unhappy. His wife filed for a protection-from-abuse order in 2015 and also filed for divorce. An order finalizing their divorce and awarding his ex-wife the house may have been what set him off, officials have said.

Rogal spent the last few days before the shootings visiting porn sites and checking the home’s location, Hogan said. “He’s checking various ways to get in and get out,” Hogan said.

Rogal first went to the house, where his ex-wife was in the driveway checking her car’s oil and fired at her, missing. She then called her son, who texted other family members about the threat, Hogan said. The son also called his grandparents to warn them.

“He was telling his grandmother: ‘You’re in danger. My father is on the loose. He shot at my mother. You guys need to be concerned,’” Hogan said. But “as he’s talking to her, the phone goes dead.” Rogel had gone to the East Goshen retirement center, shot and killed his parents, 89-year-old William and 87-year-old Nancy Rogal.

Rogal then drove off, and police gave chase, following him into the neighborhood where his ex-wife lives, which authorities believed indicated he was “planning for a last stand ... getting ready to kill his wife if he can and to kill anyone else who might show up,” Hogan said.

Rogal eventually crashed into the side of the house and was later found dead. Hogan said the autopsy concluded he died of a gunshot wound to the head with the rifle.

“The only person who really knows why he did what he did, what exactly set him off, is Bruce Rogal,” Hogan said. “Which of these things, which grudge set him off — the divorce decree, the argument with the wife, the eviction notice, the arguments with the parents — we don’t know. It was one of those things all coming to a head at the same time. The only person who could have told us is dead.”

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