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After Paradise Shooting, A Struggle For Answers; ‘I Lost The Love Of My Life Today,’ Wife Says

November 29, 2018

After Paradise Shooting, A Struggle For Answers; 'I Lost The Love Of My Life Today,' Wife Says

Michael Tripus met his future wife, Pamela, while the two worked together at the Pocono Township Municipal Building, he as a zoning and sewage enforcement officer and she as a secretary. Both bonded through work and their shared fight and recovery from cancer, said Dee Ackerman, the assistant to the zoning officer and a secretary for the Zoning Hearing Board. “They were the perfect couple,” Ackerman said. “They kind of lived for the moment. They would go anywhere. It was really refreshing to see them live their life to the fullest.” Tripus also worked for other municipalities in Monroe County and was at neighboring Paradise Township, his twice-a-week job, on Tuesday morning when a 72-year-old man walked into his office, pulled a gun and killed Tripus, according to authorities. Hours after the shooting, David R. Green, 72, would tell reporters, “I don’t know why I did it.” A day after the shooting at the municipal building at 5912 Paradise Valley Road, relatives and friends of Tripus are struggling to make sense of the workplace shooting allegedly committed Green, who police say did not personally know the 65-year-old victim. On Facebook, Pamela Tripus shared the news in an emotional post: “I lost the love of my life, today.” “Thank you all for the outpouring of love and support,” Pamela Tripus wrote. “His thoughts were on children and helping those in need. He was looking forward to buying toys to give to the salvation army this week so no child would be without this Christmas. I will miss him forever.” Paradise Township Supervisors Chairman Gary Konrath said the municipal building will remain closed for the rest of the week, and possibly until the end of the year, with employees using a satellite office in Barrett Township if necessary. He said a supervisors meeting is scheduled for Monday at the Barrett Paradise Friendly Library to discuss the future of the building. “Everything is still upside down, but we are trying to keep the government functioning,” he said. “We have to discuss how comfortable the employees are and we also want to get the public’s input.” State police took Green into custody shortly after they responded to a “shots fired” call inside the municipal building. Authorities say Green was silently waiting for police after he shot and killed Tripus, who had just arrived for his job as the sewage enforcement and backup zoning officer. State police said Green did not know Tripus, but asked for him when he arrived at the township building and they spoke briefly before Green opened fire. He then put the gun down on Tripus’ desk while his co-workers frantically tried to save him, police said. According to the court documents, a neighbor told them Green, who lived in the 300 block of Sugarbush Road in Paradise Township, had ongoing issues with the township over mold, septic problems and permits, which police believe to be the motive behind the killing. Konrath said state police investigators were still at the municipal building on Wednesday, pulling electronic files to search for any connections Green had with Tripus and the township. As far as he knows, township officials were unfamiliar with Green, he said. “We don’t recognize this gentleman,” said Konrath, adding that with a municipality as small as his, “after a certain amount of time, you get to know everyone.” Green previously owned a home in Pocono Township, which burned down in December 2017. During a recorded police interview, Green told investigators he had previously dealt with Tripus when he lived in Pocono Township. He told police the previous interaction was the result of a septic issue with his neighbor, however he said he never actually met Tripus in person, records show. Ackerman, who had worked with Tripus for a dozen years, said Pocono Township officials checked records involving Green and found only a rubbish violation from 2016. “Mike sent him a nice letter and within two months it was cleaned up,” she said. Pocono Township has lowered its flags at half-staff to honor Tripus. A memorial service is planned on Sunday between 2 and 5 p.m. at Clark’s Funeral Home in Stroudsburg. mgamiz@mcall.com Twitter @mannypantalones 610-820-6595

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