Pennsylvania police shooter manhunt near home of suspect's parents

Reuters News
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Posted: Sep 20, 2014 6:54 AM

By Joe McDonald

CANADENSIS PA. (Reuters) - A massive police manhunt intensified on Friday for the gunman who killed an officer and wounded another in an ambush at a Pennsylvania state police barracks a week ago.

Waves of police and several circling aircraft were stationed in a wooded region near the Canadensis, Pennsylvania home of the parents of the main suspect.

Eric Matthew Frein, 31, has been identified as the prime suspect in the fatal shooting of Corporal Bryon Dickson, 38, and the wounding of Trooper Alex Douglass, 31, outside a state police barracks in Blooming Grove late on Sept. 12.

Police were searching near the Canadensis home of Frein's parents and had closed roads in the area.

Police said that Frein, described as a weapons enthusiast and survivalist, lived in the house prior to the shooting.

Authorities advised reporters to relocate to a staging area at a local elementary school for their safety.

"We need to move the media to this location for safety reasons. Because of heavy law enforcement activity in this area, we can't provide updates at this time," state police said in a statement.

Further information as to what prompted the warning was not immediately available. Calls and emails to police representatives were not immediately returned.

The manhunt, which involves hundreds of officers from across three states, has frayed nerves in the lightly populated neighborhoods of northeast Pennsylvania.

"Definitely knowing there's a killer running around the woods doesn't make you sleep easy at night," J.D. Donson, a resident of the small township that contains Canadensis, told local television news station WNEP.

"I have to take my dog out in the morning and you're kind of looking over your shoulder, thinking there's someone with a gun pointed at you," he added.

On Thursday, the FBI added Frein to its "10 most wanted" fugitives list just hours after thousands of law enforcement officers from across the country joined family members and other mourners at funeral services for the slain trooper in nearby Scranton.

Police have said that Frein was a member of a role-playing group that dressed in Cold War military uniforms and assumed the parts of soldiers from Eastern European countries. He was described as having "a grudge against law enforcement."

Canadensis is about 114 miles (183.5 km) north of Philadelphia.

(Writing and additional reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco)