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Berks Co. officials react to rampage at municipal meeting

Published On: Aug 06 2013 05:10:37 PM EDT   Updated On: Aug 06 2013 06:17:10 PM EDT

Berks Co. officials react to shooting at municipal meeting

OLEY TWP., Pa. -

The deadly rampage at a municipal meeting in the Poconos has sent shock waves across Pennsylvania and the country.

Township supervisors in Berks County reacted as more information was released Tuesday.

"That gentleman could have just as well lived in Rockland Township instead of Ross Township," said Herb Meadway, a township supervisor in Rockland Township.


Meadway could only imagine the horror and the mayhem inside Ross Township, Monroe County's municipal meeting that left three people dead Monday night.

"I certainly had concern about what happened and felt if at all possible we should do something to inhibit it from happening in Rockland Township," said Meadway.

Meadway could not imagine bullets flying through their meeting room. A constable attends their monthly meetings and metal detectors have been brought up in the past, but now he plans to have a discussion to step up security.

Authorities say the alleged gunman, Rockne Newell, 59, had more than five dozen rounds of ammunition, a long gun and a handgun during the attack.

"I can see where somebody can go off the deep end," said Mark Hoch, an Oley Township Supervisor.

Hoch has been on the job two years, and said sometimes their meetings get heated.

"It went through my head it can easily happen yes, that's in any community it can happen," he said.

Both Meadway and Hoch hope they never endure that type of situation, but say they refuse to live in fear.

"I certainly will have a slightly different attitude toward things when I go to the next meeting, but it isn't going to stop me from doing my civic duty," said Meadway.