by Al Bloomfield
Tuesday August 6, 2013
SAYLORSBURG, PENNSYLVANIA – On Monday night, August 5, 2013, disgruntled resident Rockne Newell shot through a wall before bursting into a meeting of the Ross Township Board of Supervisors, and began firing a handgun with a scope in an attempt to assassinate the governing Board of Supervisors. In doing so he managed to assassinate James V. La Guardia, 64, David Fleetwood, 62, and Gerard J. Kozi, the 53.
As the shooter Mr. Newell fatally fired his deadly weapon he declared, “They stole my land! They stole my land!” Everybody in the meeting room tried to run for cover. Then the shooter stopped firing. He exited the meeting to reload or change out his guns. He then returned and began firing once more. But during the murder break many started calling 911.
As the shooter, Mr. Newell, began firing for the second time, Bernie Kozen, West End Open Space Commission executive director, was tending to one of the wounded. Mr. Kozen ordered Mr. Newell to, “Give me the gun! Give me the gun!” Mr. Kozen jumped the shooter and shot him with his own gun. A second unidentified Good Samaritan also tackled the shooter. The second man told CNN that he “punched, kicked and pulled a handgun from the shooter’s hand.” Both men pulled the shooter to the floor. Mr. Kozen held down the shooter’s bottom half body while the second man stood on his neck. Both men tied up the shooter’s arms with a jacket.
Rockne Newell was briefly hospitalized and arrested for criminal homicide by Pennsylvania state police and lodged at the Monroe County Jail. Three other people were briefly hospitalized and released.
Mr. Newell was disgruntled because he lost his 18 years’ battle with the Board of Supervisors in June 2013. The Board of Supervisors ordered Mr. Newell last year to vacate his property. The Board had declared Mr. Newell’s property to be an eyesore. They intended to take it over and clean it up. Back in June, Mr. Newell had complained to the local newspaper, the Pocono Record, about the seizure. “If I lose this property, I have nowhere else to go,” said Mr. Newell. “What they’re doing to me, what they’ve been doing to me for so long, it’s wrong.” But neighbors had filed complaints against Rockne Newell. Apparently Mr. Newell kept his personal excrement in buckets on his property polluting his neighbors’ air. The Board of Supervisors ruled that he improperly disposed of sewage without a septic system. Mr. Newell’s rebuttal was that he couldn’t afford the septic hookup fees. Prior to that, Mr. Newell had acquired a building permit from the Township to place a storage unit on his property. Instead of doing so, he tricked the Board of Supervisors and built a non-permitted residence.
Mr. Newell demonstrated no remorse for what he had done after the shootings. He claimed that he should have shot more people.
Sources of information for this report included CNN and Fox6Now.com.
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