Pennsylvania state police are still on the hunt to find the individual who attacked two state troopers, shooting both during a night shift change. The attack, described as an ambush, was fatal for one of the state troopers, while the other state trooper was wounded. On Sunday, Sept. 14, investigators returned to the area across from the state police barracks to search the woods. A checkpoint was also set up in the area and drivers were stopped for questioning.
The area, according to Lt. Colonel George Biven, has been thoroughly searched. It is believed the suspect has fled. Biven said it was likely the “individual is no longer in that immediate area.”
The ambush occurred at approximately 10:50 p.m. on Friday night. One Pennsylvania state police trooper was arriving at the barracks while the other was leaving. They were given no time to defend themselves and were taken off-guard by the shooter. Cpl. Bryon Dickson was found dead on the scene while Trooper Alex Douglass sustained injuries and had to be taken to a hospital. Douglass was reported to be in stable but critical condition after his surgery. Both victims were described as young men who had families. Dickson had a wife and two sons.
The suspect is said to have been looking for police to shoot, according to officials. It is unknown if the two state troopers themselves were intended targets or not.
The attack was described by the Police Commissioner, Frank Noonan as “cowardly.” He said that whoever perpetrated the attack was “very dangerous” and “armed.” He claimed the attack on the two troopers “has touched [the state police] to the core.” He called the large manhunt on Saturday as “an emotional night.” Describing the hunt for the suspect, he stated that helicopters would be used in the search, as would other equipment and “every possible technique.” According to Noonan the police are working hard to find the suspect and that they were “leaving no stone unturned.”
The search for the suspect has included hundreds of fellow law enforcement members, some from New York and New Jersey. Many people have been interviewed, including a “person of interest,” but Noonan said that individual is not a suspect. So far the attack is believed to have been only against the Pennsylvania state police and Noonan stated that he did not believe the public was in danger from the shooter. However, he stated that symbolically the attack was against all of Pennsylvania. Noonan said that the police will not rest until the shooter is apprehended.
The nonprofit group Pennsylvania Crime Stoppers has offered a reward for $50,000 in exchange for any tips about the surprise attack on the two state troopers. Another reward is being offered by the state police for $20,000.
The hunt for the attacker that killed one Pennsylvania state police trooper and wounded another will continue. The incident has had a profound effect on the police involved and they are dedicated to seeing that the perpetrator is found.
By Jillian Moyet