Shooting at Municipal Building in Pennsylvania Leaves Public Employee Dead

by | November 27, 2018

By Kayla Dwyer

A Paradise Township employee is dead and a man is in custody after a shooting at the municipal building in north-central Monroe County Tuesday morning.

Officials identified the victim as Michael Tripus, 65, of Stroudsburg. David Green, 72, of Swiftwater, Monroe County, was taken into custody without incident, police said.

Tripus was a sewage and zoning enforcement officer for the township two days a week for the past 8 years, said Gary Konrath, chair of the Board of Supervisors. He was contracted out of Building Inspection Underwriters of Pennsylvania, based in Scranton.

"He was talking about retiring," Konrath said.

State police were called around 8:20 a.m. to the Paradise Township Municipal Building at 5912 Paradise Valley Road for reports of "shots fired," according to a news release.

State police found one person dead and took a man into custody "without incident," the release states.

"I'm pretty shook up," Konrath said, approaching his sixth year as chairman. "You say this a hundred times, but you wouldn't think it would happen here."

Paradise Township has a population of less than 3,000.

Janice Parks, who was dropping off mail at the township post office, said the news shocked her.

"It's awful that happened," she said. "This is a wonderful place to live. We don't have that kind of violence here."

Trooper Anthony Petroski tweeted at 9:30 a.m. that the Paradise Township incident was contained. State police said there is no threat to the public.

Another fatal shooting at a township building happened in August 2013 in southern Monroe County. A man unhappy with Ross Township officials over zoning issues, Rockne Newell, went on a shooting rampage at the municipal building, killing three.

Newell later pleaded guilty and is serving three consecutive life terms.

In 1998, a South Whitehall man went into the township building with a .38-caliber revolver and confronted the township manager about a lawsuit. Kenneth C. Adams had sued the township in 1996, claiming he was hurt by a township plow.

"Don't worry, I'm not going to do you, I'm going to do me, " Adams, 59, told township Manager Gerald Gasda that morning in March.

When Gasda left the office to get help, he heard a gunshot. Police found Adams dead of a self-inflicted wound.

Reporter Pam Lehman contributed reporting.

(c)2018 The Morning Call (Allentown, Pa.)