Survivalist Suspected in Deadly Pa. Barracks Ambush - NBC Bay Area
National & International News
The day’s top national and international news

Survivalist Suspected in Deadly Pa. Barracks Ambush

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Suspect in Shooting of Pa. State Troopers Identified

    A suspect has been identified in the ambush shooting of two Pa. State Troopers that killed one and injured the other. NBC10's Keith Jones has the details on the manhunt. (Published Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014)

    Pennsylvania State Police say the suspect in the killing of a trooper and the critical wounding of another outside a rural barracks is a survivalist who has expressed a desire to kill law enforcement officers and commit mass murder.

    State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan identified the suspect as 31-year-old Eric Matthew Frein (pronounced "Freen"), of Canadensis, Pennsylvania.

    Noonan says about 200 law enforcement officials are looking for Frein, but his whereabouts are unknown.

    Noonan says Frein is considered armed and "extremely dangerous.''

    An assailant killed 38-year-old Cpl. Bryon Dickson and critically wounded Trooper Alex Douglass outside a state police barracks in northeastern Pennsylvania on Friday night, then slipped away.

    Authorities said Tuesday they have made progress in their effort to catch the rifle-toting gunman who killed one trooper and critically wounded another outside a Pennsylvania State Police barracks, obtaining a search warrant connected to the late-night ambush.

    The office of District Judge Michael Muth confirmed that the search warrant was issued early Tuesday. The judge, based in a neighboring county, declined to provide a copy of the warrant or release any details about the location of the search.

    The assailant, using a .308-caliber rifle, killed Cpl. Bryon Dickson, 38, and critically wounded another trooper during a shift change Friday night, then slipped away.

    The motive is unknown.

    Authorities released a likely profile of the gunman in hopes it might help authorities catch him. Authorities believe he may be an avid hunter or received firearms training — possibly from law enforcement or even the military. They also suggest he regularly visited a shooting range to keep his skills sharp and made several trips to the barracks, picking just the right hiding spot from which he could launch an ambush and make his escape.

    Lt. Col. George Bivens vowed Monday that police will arrest the "coward'' who "did it from a place of hiding and ran.''

    Bivens said: "The act that you committed may have been meant as an act of intimidation. It has not intimidated us. The Pennsylvania State Police is committed to bringing you to justice. We will find you and we will seek justice when we do.''

    Police received hundreds of tips as a nonprofit group increased its reward offer to $75,000 for information leading to the gunman's capture, and a number of the tips provided "credible information'' about the ambush, Bivens said. Pennsylvania Crime Stoppers has asked anyone with information to call them or submit tips online.

    Several law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, were helping with the investigation. Authorities pored over old cases investigated by the two troopers — and by others in the barracks and elsewhere — in hopes of turning up a suspect.

    Kelly said in a statement earlier Tuesday that parts of Route 402, a roadway that runs through a forest near the barracks, were blocked overnight to allow a search of the area without endangering the safety of motorists. He didn't say what investigators were looking for but said the road was reopened and no one was in custody.

    As the manhunt continued, Dickson's family prepared for his funeral, to be held Thursday at a Roman Catholic cathedral in Scranton. Dickson, a Marine Corps veteran who joined the state police in 2007 and had worked as a patrol unit supervisor in the Blooming Grove barracks since June, is survived by his wife of 10 years and two young sons.

    The injured lawman, Trooper Alex Douglass, a nine-year veteran, was conscious and talking for the first time since he underwent surgery. Investigators planned to interview him.