law enforcement

Shelter in Place Lifted as Ambush Suspect Search Continues in Monroe County

Pennsylvania State Police have lifted the shelter in place for Barrett and Price Townships in Monroe County as they continue to search for the suspect in the fatal shooting of a State Trooper. Despite the lift, they are still recommending people to "use extreme caution" as they return to the area.

"The Pennsylvania State Police are very concerned for the safety of the community and are strongly recommending that people in the affected area stay in their homes and do not go in to the woods where law enforcement is searching," a spokesperson for the state police wrote in a released statement.

Authorities wearing bulletproof vests and carrying heavy rifles fanned out Saturday in the neighborhood around the home of the man suspected in the fatal shooting of a Pennsylvania State Police trooper, exercising extreme caution as they combed a heavily wooded area for a suspect described as a self-taught survivalist.

Although Eric Frein isn't in custody, "our troopers are determined to find him and bring him to justice," said state police spokeswoman Maria Finn.

"Due to the violent nature of his crimes, extreme precautionary measures are being taken," Finn said.

Police did not release details of their search, including how big of an area they are checking, whether they have Frein surrounded.

Authorities closed roads in the wooded neighborhood of Barrett Township, in the Pocono Mountains about 100 miles north of Philadelphia, and issued a shelter-in-place warning to residents as they sought a man they said had a grudge against law enforcement and government.

Gunfire was reported around Friday night but authorities have not discussed that report, including if there were any injuries.

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. Some who had been kept away were allowed to return to their homes Saturday morning.

With dozens of homes on lockdown, Andrew Killinger and Kerriann Sanders had to make alternate wedding plans.

The wedding was supposed to be at their home, but Killinger left Friday evening to pick up the food and, when he returned, police would not let him back in. He spent the night in his sport utility vehicle while Sanders spent a nerve-wracking night at home with their 2-year-old daughter.

The couple got the wedding rescheduled at nearby Pocono Manor on Saturday, and Sanders persuaded local authorities to send a police cruiser to pick her up and drive her and her daughter out of the neighborhood. Police told the couple nothing about what is happening.

"They're keeping it hush-hush," Killinger said.

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.

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 Friday.

Joe Ksiaskiewicz tried to pass through a roadblock to get home late Saturday morning, but was stopped by officers.

Ksiaskiewicz said the officers told him it was a "critical time" and would not let him pass. He had hoped to get through to be with his 27-year-old daughter, Ellen, who was stuck at home while he and his wife spent the night with their older daughter because they couldn't enter their neighborhood.

"She's ready to be done," Ann Winner said of her sister. "She's been listening to helicopters all night."

Canadensis resident Richard Barry couldn't get home from work Friday night before the roadblocks went up. Barry said Saturday 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.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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