CANADENSIS, Pa. — Authorities hunkered down early Sept. 20 in the neighborhood where a man suspected in the fatal shooting of a Pennsylvania State Police trooper lived with his parents, raising hopes they had him cornered a week after the ambush outside a rural police barracks.
For a second night, authorities closed roads near the home in a wooded neighborhood of Barrett Township, in the Pocono Mountains, and this time gunfire was reported in the area.
The shots were fired around 6:40 p.m. Sept. 18, a Monroe County 911 dispatcher said. State police told residents in the townships of Price and Barrett to stay inside and asked others not to travel to the area because of heavy police activity.
About 20 people who couldn’t get back to their homes took refuge at the Barrett Township firehouse, said Township supervisor Ralph Megliola.
State police would not say whether they believe they have 31-year-old Eric Frein surrounded. Their last communication came shortly after 9 p.m. Sept. 19 when a spokeswoman asked the media to relocate at a staging area farther away from the scene.
As state police appeared to undergo a shift change, an unmarked helicopter flew overhead early Sept. 20, its lights off.
Police have charged Frein with opening fire outside a state police barracks in northeastern Pennsylvania on Sept. 12. Cpl. Bryon Dickson was killed and Trooper Alex Douglass was wounded by a gunman with a high-powered rifle.
Described as a self-taught survivalist with a grudge against law enforcement and government, Frein has been on the run ever since. He was placed on the FBI’s 10 most wanted list, and hundreds of law enforcement officials have been searching for him in the dense woodlands surrounding his home in Canadensis. Schools in the area were closed again Sept. 19.
Canadensis resident Richard Barry couldn’t get home from work Sept. 19 before the roadblocks went up. Barry said the next morning that he heard from family members who were at home and they told him police were going through their yard and the dog was barking.
Worried about his family, he said he preferred to wait near police in hopes of hearing something rather than staying overnight at the firehouse. “I’m hoping that sooner or later he (Frein) just says ‘I give up. You win,’” Barry said.