Police in Pennsylvania on Tuesday identified Eric Matthew Frein, 31, as the suspect they had charged with the shootings. Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan said that Frein is “armed and extremely dangerous,” describing him as a highly-trained survivalist who has expressed a desire to kill police officers and other people.
“He has made statements about wanting to kill law enforcement officers and also to commit mass acts of murder,” Noonan said during a news conference. “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.”
Cpl. Bryon Dickson was killed in the shooting, which occurred Friday night near a police barracks in Blooming Grove, Pa., in the northeastern part of the state. Alex Douglass, the other trooper, was seriously wounded. State police say they were shot without warning while Dickson was leaving the barracks and Douglass was arriving.
Two school districts not far from the barracks were closed on Wednesday as law enforcement officers continued to search the region.
The Pocono Mountain School District announced that its 10 schools would be closed Wednesday. This was “due to safety concerns for our students at bus stops with an armed and dangerous gunman still on the loose in the area,” the district said in a statement. In addition, all school athletic events and practices were also canceled. The Wallenpaupack Area School District also announced that it would close, although no explanation was given.
Police say that they were able to identify Frein after a Jeep was found partially submerged in a pond near the barracks. After a man discovered the vehicle Monday, police found shell casings inside that matched those found near the barracks. They also found Frein’s driver’s license, Social Security card and empty rifle casings in the car.
A police affidavit released Tuesday said that Frein’s father, a retired Army major, described his son as a skilled marksman who “doesn’t miss,” according to the Associated Press.