Community Honors Lives Lost, Lives Saved in Town Hall Shooting

Three people were killed when a gunman burst into at a Town Hall meeting in Ross Township on Monday night

By Chris Cato, Lauren DiSanto and AP
|  Friday, Aug 9, 2013  |  Updated 4:46 AM EDT
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Candles burned and tears fell as hundreds came together to honor the victims of a town hall shooting. NBC10's Chris Cato shows us how the community honored lives lost and lives saved.

NBC10- Chris Cato

Candles burned and tears fell as hundreds came together to honor the victims of a town hall shooting. NBC10's Chris Cato shows us how the community honored lives lost and lives saved.

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The heroes who jumped into action when a gunman burst into a Town Hall meeting Monday night in Ross Township were honored at a prayer service Thursday night.

"We cannot let a lone gunman, no matter how angry or full of the forces of guns and bullets steal our community's peace or faith in God," said Rev. Tresita Beach.

David Fleetwood, Gerard Kozic and James Laguardia were killed by the gunfire.

"The men who lost their lives were at that meeting because they wanted to make this a better place to live," said State Representative Rosemary Brown.

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Police said the accuseed gunman, Rockne Newell, was angry at Ross Township officials after losing his junk-strewn property in northeastern Pennsylvania last month in a court fight and opened fire at a building where they were meeting.

Authorities said he had told his father and others he had nothing left to lose and planned to kill township officials.

Tonight, hundreds packed into St. Peter's United Methodist Church in Saylorsburg, where they shared prayer, tears and even applause.

The community members applauded the heroic acts of survivors Mark Kresh and Bernie Kozen, who tackled Newell, preventing him from shooting anyone else. The men also shot and injured Newell before he was taken into police custody.

Fleetwood was another hero, who died while shielding a woman with his body. He died and she lived.

As Newell was being transported to the hospital, he said, "I wish I killed more of them," according to court papers.

At the prayer service, Kozen told NBC10 the service is exactly what Ross Township needed and is the beginning of healing.

Newell faces charges that include three homicide counts. He didn't enter a plea at his arraignment on Tuesday.

When a judge asked him at the arraignment if he owned any real estate, he replied, "They stole it from me. That's what started all this."

 


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