A 70-year-old airstrip maintenance worker angry about losing his job shot his two bosses at work, killing one of them, then escaped in a plane which crashed about 20 minutes later, investigators say.
Kenneth Jerolaman was killed in the crash."The story gets really nuts," said Bucks County District Attorney Alan Rubenstein.
Investigators say they believe Jerolaman became enraged Saturday when his bosses tried to fire him after a decade at Labate Aviation, an airplane restoration company.
"An argument ensued and then boom, boom, boom," said Trooper Douglas Tolbert Jr.
Company owner Dominic Silverio, of Philadelphia, was killed. Police hope to question his partner, Salvatore Labate, 67, who was shot three times in the abdomen. He was hospitalized and in guarded condition.
After shooting Silverio and Labate in a hangar, Jerolaman maneuvered a plane onto a grass runway, Rubenstein said.
"A neighbor, who heard the commotion, comes out with his own handgun . . . and Jerolaman takes some shots at him but misses," Rubenstein said. Police said the neighbor, who was not identified, fired back at the airplane and also missed.
Jerolaman flew the plane 10 miles before it plunged to the ground outside French-town, N.J. State police spokesman Joe Scheideler said it was too soon to say if the plane crashed because of a mechanical problem or the pilot intentionally flew it into the ground.
Tolbert said Jerolaman repaired and renovated planes at the airstrip and also lived in a trailer at the airstrip. His bosses often argued with Jerolaman about his messy habits, the trooper said.