Pa. barracks shooting: Police identify survivalist suspect as manhunt continues

Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan identified the suspect in a police barracks shooting as Eric Matthew Frein, of Canadensis, Pa. The manhunt for Frein continued Tuesday.

Pennsylvania State Police/AP
Cpl. Bryon Dickson was killed by a gunman as he left the police barracks in Blooming Grove, Pa. Another officer also was injured in the ambush last week.

Police have identified a well-trained survivalist as the main suspect in the ambush death of a Pennsylvania state trooper late Friday evening at a remote police barracks outside Scranton, Pa.

Using descriptors like “coward” and phrases like “attack on civilized society,” authorities in Pennsylvania are buckling down on a massive manhunt for Matthew Eric Frein, of Canadensis, Pa., who was named Tuesday afternoon as a chief suspect. Mr. Frein, police say, is a skilled survivalist with a particular hatred for police.

"He is at large and he is considered armed and extremely dangerous," Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan said at a Tuesday press conference. "He’s expressed anti-government leanings in the past, especially toward law enforcement, and he has survivalist training.”

One officer, Cpl. Bryon Dickson, died and another one, Trooper Alex Douglass, was gravely wounded in an ambush with a .308 hunting rifle during a shift change at the Bloomington Grove barracks, where an entrance is only 50 feet away from dense woods.

“A man walking his dog spotted a vehicle slightly submerged in a swampy area near the barracks and called police, who found Frein's ID inside — along with shell casings, empty rifle cases, military gear and camouflage face paint,” NBC News reported. “Police said shell casings in the car and casings found at the home Frein shared with his parents matched the ones from the barracks shooting.”

As the manhunt on Tuesday stretched into day five, Gov. Tom Corbett ripped into the attacker, noting that the shooting wasn't just aimed at police but against “civilized society."

A state police lieutenant followed that up by telling the suspect, "You are a coward," and then warning him, “We will find you.”

The strong personal language illustrates the stakes of the manhunt and underscores that the shooting has deeply disturbed a police organization that feels like “someone has broken into our home,” as Trooper Richard Blair told The Daily Item in Sunbury, Pa.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.