In last week’s deadly shooting of a Pennsylvania State Trooper, an arrest warrant has been signed and will soon be executed. According to multiple sources, a suspect in the case has finally been identified.
One of the reporting outlets was a major television station in Pennsylvania who stated that authorities had been on the hunt for the man connected to a Jeep located near the site of the shooting, which occurred at the State Police barracks in the Blooming Grove Township.
After the incident, a local highway was temporarily shut down and a search warrant was also requested from a judge pertaining to the search of the suspicious vehicle. Magisterial Judge Michael Muth from neighboring Monroe County approved the search warrant, which when carried out on the Jeep helped officers uncover related evidence connecting a person suspected of ambushing the two State Troopers to the crime.
According to Trooper Tom Kelly, a spokesman for the State Police, progress was being made in the ongoing investigation and sometime later today, more details will be released to the public. Kelly added that an area off Route 30 near the Pike County barracks was closed down to allow officers to conduct a thorough search of the area without motorists’ safety being compromised.
Blooming Grove Township has a population of about 5,000 and last Friday, Trooper Alex Douglass, 31, was wounded while Cpl. Byron Dickson II, a 38-year-old married man and father of two was shot and killed. The ambush happened so quickly that neither Trooper had the opportunity to return fire on the suspect.
Details of the shooting have been released slowly by authorities but information was provided that the shooter used a .308 caliber hunting rifle. Although it remains unknown at this time, authorities believe this individual may have had a beef with one or both Troopers shot or the State Police in general.
As stated by Lt. Col. George Bivens, the rifle used is the same type used by military and law enforcement sharpshooters. However, it is also a popular weapon of choice for people who target practice. Because of the weapon involved in the shooting, Bivens theorizes that the killer may have some type of military or law enforcement training.
The amount of shots fired, number of times each Trooper was hit, or the direction from where they came have not been revealed at this time. However, a neighbor who lives close to the barracks told the local newspaper that he specifically heard between 20 and 30 shots.
In addressing the gunman, Bivens called him a “coward”, saying that the act committed could have been used as intimidation but that none of the officers are intimidated. Governor Tom Corbett added that the assault was not on one or two Troopers but on all of law enforcement and the society as a whole and according to US Senator Bob Casey, his office has been in touch with local, state, and federal officials and that the situation will continue to be monitored.