Pennsylvania Cop-Killer Eric Matthew Frein Is On The Loose, Placing Towns On Lockdown
Pennsylvania has a cop-killer on the run, and the chase is racking the small communities in the Poconos Mountains. Authorities continued their manhunt on Saturday for Eric Matthew Frein, who allegedly killed a state trooper last week after opening fire in what the police described as a "cowardly ambush." The 31-year-old Frein has evaded arrest over the last week, but authorities say they are closing in on the suspect.
Frein allegedly shot and killed Cpl. Bryon Dickson after opening fire on the Blooming Grove state police barracks the night of Sept. 12. Frein also injured state trooper Alex Douglass in the attack.
According to authorities, Frein is "extremely dangerous." The 31-year-old Pennsylvania resident is reportedly a trained marksman, and has a deep-seated hate for police. "He has made statements about wanting to kill law enforcement officers and also to commit mass acts of murder," State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan said at a news conference earlier this week.
On Friday, the FBI placed him on its "most wanted" list as the manhunt for Frein heated up. Authorities say they have narrowed in on Frein, placing about 7,000 residents of Price and Barrett townships, nestled in the mountains of northeast Pennsylvania, on lockdown Friday night into Saturday morning. According to The Christian Science Monitor, residents were ordered to lock their doors, turn off their lights, and stay inside over the last 24 hours — also known as a "shelter in place" command.
Local news station WNEP reported that authorities issued the lockdown warning via email to the area's residents. The email read:
Due to the violent nature of his crimes, extreme precautionary measures are being taken. The PA State Police are very concerned for the safety of the community so we are continuing to ask people to shelter in place.
Authorities have also set up road blocks on local highways, preventing residents from returning to their homes. An emergency shelter was established to house those residents unable to get back into town. WNEP reported that many stores in the townships, such as CVS Pharmacy, remained close on Saturday.
Although police believe they've successfully narrowed their search to these northeast Pennsylvania woods, they do not have Frein cornered. Earlier media reports said police exchanged gunfire with Frein on Friday, but a law enforcement official told The Los Angeles Times that those reports were false.
Pennsylvania police haven't said how long the sleepy Poconos towns would be on lockdown, but judging by the seriousness of the manhunt, residents probably won't be leaving their homes any time soon.
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