Suvivors of Pa. municipal building shooting hold first public meeting
STROUDSBURG, Pa. - September 3, 2013 (WPVI) -- For the first time since the deadly mass shooting in the Poconos, elected officials in Ross Township gathered for a meeting.
They are the survivors. And as expected, Tuesday night's meeting was under heavy guard.
Those who know Ross Township know people just like to keep to themselves.
Even after last month's tragedy, that didn't change when township supervisors held their monthly meeting. And they used the Monroe County Public Safety Center instead of their municipal building where the deadly shooting happened.
They were back to handling the business of Ross Township.
The 3 supervisors, the secretary and the solicitor for the small Monroe County community of 5000 residents sat at the table of an official meeting for the first time since a gunman opened fire on their August 5th meeting.
3 people were killed, 3 others injured.
"At this time we'd like to observe a moment of silence," said board chairman Howard Beers at the opening of the session.
Before and during the meeting, the security increase was noticeable.
No firearms were allowed, a deputy walked the perimeter and others stood at the entrance as people went through metal detectors.
On the agenda, old business included amendments to a wood burner ordinance.
New business included the approval of moving to a new municipal building. The old one has sat empty since the shooting.
One resident told the board, he was there in support.
"Personally I'm here to tell you that I commend what you've done. It's a very unfortunate situation. I think you've done the best that you can given the circumstances," he said.
The meeting lasted 23 minutes.
At the end, Beers, who injured his hand trying to escape the hail of gunfire, was hesitant to talk about how he felt about being back.
"It was a little nervous," he said.
Action News also spotted heroes Bernie Kozen and Mark Kresh, who tackled the suspected shooter Rockne Newell.
Police say Newell had a long-running dispute with the township over his messy property.
Pocono Record reporter Chris Reber who was in the room that night was also there as so many in Ross Township try to move forward.
"It's very tragic, as everyone has said tonight. I was just here to do my job this evening, and that's about it," Reber said.
Since they're in the early stages, Ross Township supervisors weren't able to give a timeline on when they'll move to a new building.
And they're not sure if they'll ever return to their old municipal building.
pennsylvania news, monroe county, shooting, local/state, kenneth moton
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