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Healing continues in Ross Township

By Will Lewis, Reporter, WLewis@wfmz.com
Published On: Sep 05 2013 09:02:25 PM CDT
Updated On: Sep 06 2013 06:07:18 AM CDT

Healing continues in Ross Township

ROSS TWP., Pa. -

In the Poconos, people in rural Ross Township, Monroe County, are still in shock a month after a deadly shooting rampage.

Thursday night some residents took another step in the healing process by leaning on each other for support.

The organizers called this a Unite the Community service.

Speakers talked about finding comfort in a higher power in the middle of brokenness.

"If ever there was a time for people to set aside their differences and to unite in compassion and brotherly and sisterly love," said Betty Grant, pastor of the Mountaintop Christian Church, "then this would be that time."

Close to 60 people met at the Van Buskirk - Haney Park in Ross Township, Monroe County, to remember lives lost and lives affected during the Aug. 5 shooting that left three people dead.

Organizers of the Unite Community Service had one goal: help in the grieving process.

"They really felt that it was a good opportunity to have ministers talk to them in ways that they may not always get the opportunity to do," said organizer, David Dion.

The service took place in the shadow of the Ross Township Municipal Building--where police say Rockne Newell shot three people because of a land dispute.

At 7:19 p.m. people in the crowd reflected on that deadly shooting with a moment of silence.

"Because of what happened, they worry about things that are going on and if that could even happen in their town, and in their township,"said Chestnuthill Township resident Anthony Bucciero.

The group also prayed for the families of the victims: Jerry Kozic, James LaGuardia, and David Fleetwood.

"We live the hope of one day seeing God face to face," added Robert O'Connor, deacon at Our Lady Queen of Peace Church. "And seeing in his reflective light those that we love."

Some say it's still heartbreaking to see the three crosses in front of the township building, the covered broken window, and the police markings on the ground.

But all say this service is a way to help a community heal.

"When people come together, it's a wonderful thing," added Bucciero. "You can feel the love. It's like a family kind of thing."

People say they are glad organizers had the service.

Next week Ross Township celebrates community day and many say it would have felt strange to hold that event without first recognizing what took place a month ago.