Citizen columnist's father shot and killed in Pa. town hall meeting

The father of Conyers pastor and Citizen religion columnist Joe LaGuardia died Monday evening in a shooting that took place during a municipal meeting in northeastern Pennsylvania.

James V. LaGuardia, 64, father of Joe LaGuardia, pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in Conyers, waited to conduct business at the monthly Ross Township meeting when Rockne Newell, 59, opened fire at the building, according to reports from Reuters news service.

The shots fatally wounded LaGuardia and two others, including a township supervisor, and injured two more.

LaGuardia owned TV Radio Laboratories in Saylorsburg, Pa., a television and repair service, according to reports from the Pocono Record.

Newell had a 17-year dispute with the township over land that the municipality had condemned over sanitation issues, reported Reuters.

Newell barged into the Monday night meeting, where about 17 residents and town officials gathered, and fired shots through the walls of an office into the room, according to the Pocono Record. He then fired additional rounds through a side door and went back out to his vehicle to retrieve another gun, reported the Record. As Newell walked in a second time shooting off rounds, bystanders tackled him, according to Pocono Record reports.

Newell is charged with three counts of murder, two counts of attempted murder and two counts of aggravated assault, according to the Record.


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