Cop-Killer Survivalist “Extremely Dangerous,” Focus Of Massive Manhunt

Can The Killer Survivalist Escape The Police? Photo Credit: CHP-Swat-TeamPublic Domain CHPSocialMedia - Own work

Can The Killer Survivalist Escape The Police?
Photo Credit: CHP-Swat-TeamPublic Domain
CHPSocialMedia – Own work

Police have launched a massive manhunt in the rural, dense northeastern Pennsylvania woods, which is a perfect place for a man to hide out. Even though there are “hundreds of law enforcement officers fanning out” across the timber, Eric Matthew Frein (31) has eluded them.

Authorities charged Frein Tuesday with “first-degree murder, homicide of a law enforcement office and other offenses.” Police describe the gunman as “approximately 165 pounds, about 6-feet-1 with blue eyes.”

The man who assassinated a Pennsylvania state trooper and wounded another is a deadly survivalist. He is “extremely dangerous,” “heavily armed,” and police urged residents to be “alert and cautious.”

Frank Noonan, State Police Commissioner, held a news conference and released Frein’s name. The marksman opened fire and critically wounded Trooper Alex Douglass and killed Bryon Dickson (38) when the troopers emerged from the barracks at the night shift change. Then the sniper escaped.

A man walking his dog in a wooded area two miles from the barracks discovered an abandoned 2001 Jeep partially submerged in a pond and dialed 911.

It was the break the authorities needed. They found shell casing matching those at the shooting scene inside of the Jeep, Noonan said. It appears that Frein panicked, leaving behind his I.D.’s and other important items,

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.

The Jeep is registered to Frein’s father. The marksman,”…Has made statements about wanting to kill law enforcement officers and also to commit mass acts of murder. 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 practices a form of survivalism that endorses lone survival without society or government assistance in any form. And toward that end, he has stockpiled a collection of guns and food. According to court documents, when police searched the suspect’s bedroom, they located a U.S. Army manual, “Sniper Training and Employment.”

The survivalist lives at home with his parents in Canadensis, and his father is a retired Army major who served 28 years. Police released an affidavit Tuesday that included a statement by the elder Frein. He said that he taught his son how to shoot, that his son was a member of the rifle team in high school and that the son became a better shot than his father. His father described him as,

An excellent marksman who “doesn’t miss.”

The elder Frein told police that two of his weapons were missing, an AK-47, and a .308 rifle with a scope. Two state police troopers bearing rifles guard the Frein home, a “well-kept two-story in a private community.”

Noonan said that, “we have no idea where he is.”

Lt. Col. George Bivens addressed the shooter directly at a separate news conference on Monday, saying,

You are a coward. You committed this spineless act, and you did it from a place of hiding and then ran. The act that you committed may have been meant as an act of intimidation. It has not intimidated us… We will find you.

Authorities believe Frein has a “deadly vendetta against police.” Anyone who knew him heard about his “anti-law enforcement view” for years. Frein also expressed those views online according to Bivens. A reward for information leading to Fein’s arrest now stands at $75,000, Bivens said.

Neighbors are nervous, since Fein is at large. One of those neighbors, Rich Turner (52), told reporters that “school buses avoided the neighborhood on Tuesday.” Instead, school administrators told parents to drive their children to school and return for them.

Turner didn’t know Frein, but did know his mother who served as the president of the community association. He said,

Everybody’s wondering if he’s still out there. Everyone’s on edge, to a degree.

The Associated Press located a man who knew Frein briefly when they were both military re-enactors. Lars Prillaman said he was “saddened by what happened” and that Frein was “a different person eight years ago.” According to NBC News Prillaman and Frein joined a World War II “living history” group. They played Germans, but the group prohibits neo-Nazis. Prillaman told NBC,

I can’t begin to imagine what would have caused someone like him to go down this path.

Court documents detail the events as they took place,

Dickson was shot as soon as he walked out the front door of the barracks. A communications officer heard the shot, saw Dickson on the ground and asked him what had happened. Dickson told her he’d been hit and asked her to bring him inside — but the gunman had squeezed off another round, forcing his would-be rescuer inside.

Douglass, meanwhile, had just arrived at the barracks and was shot in the pelvis as he walked toward Dickson. Douglass managed to crawl into the lobby, where another trooper brought him into a secure area of the barracks. Douglass later underwent surgery at a hospital.

Other troopers drove a patrol SUV into the parking lot and used it as a shield so they could drag Dickson into the barracks and begin attempts to save his life. But he 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.

Law enforcement does not know why Frein shot the troopers. But under these circumstances, why is not as important as how, when and where.