BLOOMING GROVE, Pa (KDKA/AP) – The manhunt continued Tuesday night for 31-year-old Eric Frein, identified earlier in the day as the prime suspect in the ambush shooting of two state troopers in rural northeastern Pennsylvania.
Killed in the ambush was 38-year-old Cpl. Bryon Dickson, while Trooper Alex Douglass was seriously wounded in the same shooting late last Friday night.
KDKA’s Ralph Iannotti Reports:
Court documents revealed Tuesday that investigators found an Army manual called “Sniper Training and Employment” in Frein’s bedroom at the home where he lived with his parents a few miles from the state police barracks where the shootings occurred.
The suspect’s father, an Army veteran, told police that his son was an excellent marksman, who “doesn’t miss.”
Authorities zeroed in on Frein after a resident who was walking his dog in a wooded area two miles from the barracks Monday spotted a 2001 Jeep partly submerged in a pond and called 911. Police found shell casings inside the vehicle that matched those found at the shooting scene, State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan said.
Investigators also found Frein’s driver’s license, Social Security card, a Pennsylvania Game Commission range permit, camouflage face paint, a black hooded sweatshirt, two empty rifle cases, military gear and information about foreign embassies, according to court documents.
Frein has held anti-law enforcement views for many years and has expressed them both online and to people who knew him, Lt. Col. George Bivens said.
Frein’s father, Michael Frein, who spent 28 years in the Army, told police that two weapons were missing from the home – an AK-47 and a .308 rifle with a scope, according to the police affidavit.
Two state police troopers armed with rifles stood in the driveway of the home, a well-kept two-story in a private community, and several cars were parked there Tuesday afternoon.
The coroner said Tuesday that Dickson was shot twice.
Investigators revealed that troopers used a patrol car as a shield Friday night, so they could drag Dickson back into the barracks after he was mortally wounded.
He had left the barracks through the front door as his shift was ending when he was gunned down.
Douglass was just going to start his shift when he was wounded. He managed to crawl into the lobby of the barracks, where another trooper brought him into a secure area. Douglass later underwent surgery at a hospital.
Dickson died at the scene. A coroner said he had been shot twice.
About 90 seconds had elapsed between the first shot and the fourth and final one.
KDKA’s Mary Robb Jackson Reports:
Noonan told reporters at a news conference Tuesday, “We don’t know where he [Frein] is; we’re going to look everywhere.”
About 200 law enforcement officials were combing the rural area of northeastern Pennsylvania marked by dense forest, Noonan said.
Frein, of Canadensis, Pennsylvania, is described as 165 pounds, 6-feet-1-inches tall and has blue eyes.
Noonan says Frein is “extremely dangerous” and residents in the area should be alert and cautious.
“He has made statements about wanting to kill law enforcement officers and also to commit mass acts of murder,” Noonan said. “What his reasons are, we don’t know. But he has very strong feelings about law enforcement and seems to be very angry with a lot of things that go on in our society.”
Frein is facing charges of first-degree murder, homicide of a law enforcement officer, criminal attempt of murder in the first-degree, and other offenses.
Dickson, a Marine Corps veteran, is married and the father of two children. His funeral will be Thursday in Scranton.
Noonan described Frein as a survivalist who harbored a vendetta against police and the government.
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