Ross Township Shooting – Gunmen Opened Fire on Board of Supervisors


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

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About Al Bloomfield

Al Bloomfield is a Blue Dog Democrat. When he became a Republican at age 19 he became the youngest member in history of the Republican Party of Marion County as an alternate committeeman. When he became a full committeeman he became the youngest black member in the local party’s history. He was also the county’s first black legislative aide since Reconstruction. When he became a Democrat in his late 20s he became the first black to win nomination for countywide office since the 19th century, and the first black Democrat ever in the history of Marion County to win nomination to countywide office, when the Democratic Party of Marion County nominated him for Marion County Commissioner. (This occurred weeks before the Democratic Party nominated Pat Hatley for the School Board.) Since then Mr. Bloomfield has been an advocate for early childhood education and has worked in investment real estate as an entrepreneur. He is the son and grandson of Jamaican immigrants and is of Jewish heritage though a practicing Traditionalist Roman Catholic.
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3 Responses to Ross Township Shooting – Gunmen Opened Fire on Board of Supervisors

  1. politico says:

    I’m sure people will say that this is a man who was pushed to the wall by the State. But he was clearly a person who did not care to play by the rules. He built a house on his terms against regulations and pled poverty to justify not having a septic system. When the power of the State came after him, he came after the State. In revenge, he tried to assassinate the government of the township. In effect, he tried to wipe out the local government. What a mad endeavor by the latest madman!

    Al Bloomfield
    Summerfield, FL USA

  2. William Tull says:

    This is what happens when the government pushes a guy too far. It’s sad. It’s tragic. It’s stupid. But it’s true.

    William Tull
    Louisville, Kentucky

  3. Jack Smith says:

    WTF? You don’t do what you’re supposed to do. You flaunt the law. You ignore regulations. You stink up your neighbors’ air. You get the punishment you knew was coming. And then you just try to shoot up everybody like it’s their fault you suck? Is that how it is? Is that how it works?

    Jack Smith

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