Poconos Coal

Many still coping year after municipal building shooting in Ross Township

1st anniversary of Ross Twp.

ROSS TWP., Pa. - It's been one year since a barrage of bullets broke the hearts of residents in Ross Township, Monroe County. Three men were killed, and one woman was seriously injured.

It was a peaceful day outside the the Ross Township municipal building Tuesday, a far cry from a year ago.

Township resident Rockne Newell opened fire on the meeting, killing David Fleetwood, James Laguardia and Gerald Kozic, police said.

Kozic's wife, Linda, was seriously injured.

Newell went on the shooting rampage after losing his land to the township in a legal battle, authorities said. He is now awaiting trial.

Linda Kozic spoke to the media at his preliminary hearing.

"Mr. Newell will have a just trial," Kozic.

On the first anniversary of the shooting, workers inside the municipal building were still having a tough time. So are some residents.

"I was scared," said one resident who didn't want to be identified. "I knew the people that was here."

Security at the municipal building has been beefed up. You must now be buzzed in. A security guard is posted just feet away from three memorial crosses for Fleetwood, Laguardia and Kozic.

"You know what can you say. I was a little reluctant to come here today," said resident Ray Pickell. "Anytime you see that type of violence it's terrible."

Township officials are working on plans to build another municipal building next door, and just a few miles away, there is no sign that Newell ever lived on his parcel of land on Flyte Road. The township had it cleaned up.

Linda Kozic is healing from her wounds, and has become a community advocate, but residents said the wounds that are left on the township's spirit will take a long time to heal.

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