Shooting Victim Talks About Ross Township Tragedy and Moving Forward
CHESTNUTHILL TOWNSHIP — One of the people hurt when a gunman opened fire at a township meeting earlier this month that killed three in Monroe County, talked with Newswatch 16 Wednesday.
The woman is recovering from a gunshot wound to the leg, but her husband was among those who did not survive.
“I found out yesterday, that my husband, did exactly what I thought. He put himself in front of the bullet that was meant to go into my head,” said Linda Kozic, a Ross Township shooting victim.
Kozic holds back tears talking about how her husband saved her life during a tragic Ross Township supervisor’s meeting on August 5 when police say Rockne Newell opened fire and killed three people.
“He took everything I was with my husband. So I just have to incorporate everything we are together and make it a new norm,” said Kozic.
The meeting was two weeks ago at the Ross Township Municipal Building.
Linda and Jerry Kozic were sitting next to each other that night.
As Linda explains, now sitting in a wheelchair as she recovers from being shot in the leg, the meeting started out like any other, until:
“The halogen lights. I thought they were short-circuiting. My husband said, ‘It’s not. It’s gunfire. Get down,” said Kozic.
That’s when Jerry pushed his wife Linda, down to the ground.
“Then we could hear him. This gunman was saying, ‘you wanna take my land,’” said Kozic.
Rockne Newell’s land had been covered in junk for more than 20 years. Police say Newell was upset with the supervisors because the township recently condemned his property then bought it at a sheriff’s sale.
Once Newell was inside the municipal building, Linda says he shot her in the leg.
Her husband Jerry, wasn’t leaving her side.
“He was standing right next to me and I had hold of his pant leg, just to be touching him,” said Kozic.
Linda says Newell was behind her and felt Newell was pointing the gun to her head.
“At that point, my husband said, under his breath, ‘Oh no’ and I saw the bullet go into his abdomen. Right here,” said Kozic.
Linda watched her husband fall to the ground and knew then, he was gone.
“He gave his life for me and I don’t plan on letting this gunman take anything more,” said Kozic.
Now, the community is pulling together to help Linda with her healing process both emotionally and physically. Linda’s friends, family and neighbors are holding several fundraisers to help Linda pay her medical costs.
“To think people who don’t even know us are reaching out and doing the most amazing things. That’s giving me the impetus, along with my family, to move ahead,” said Kozic.
A memorial service for Linda’s husband, Jerry Kozic, is this Saturday morning at Kresge Funeral home in Brodheadsville, starting at 9:00 a.m.
The first fundraiser is a Zumba Fitness Fundraiser at Pocono Mountain Fitness in Pocono Manor on Sunday at 1:00 – 5:00 p.m.