Saturday, September 13, 2014

Pennsylvania: Two PA State Troopers Ambushed Outside PSP Barracks, Killing One, Injuring Other

According to The Associated Press and USA Today, two Pennsylvania (PA) state troopers were ambushed outside a state police barracks in northeastern PA during a late-night shift change, leaving one dead and another injured, and forcing authorities to scour the area and beyond in search of the assailant (s). 
The identified dead lawman was Cpl. Bryon Dickson; Trooper Alex Douglass was hospitalized in critical, but stable condition.

One trooper was leaving the barracks in Blooming Grove, Pike County, and another was arriving when shots were fired at 2250 hours on Friday (September 12), State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan said.
"This attack was an ambush. Our troopers were shot without warning and really had no chance to defend themselves," Noonan told reporters Saturday afternoon (September 13). "It's a cowardly attack. It's an attack upon all of us in society."
"It has touched us to the core that such a thing could happen," he said.

COMMENT: It may be a stretch, but it is remotely possible that the unprovoked attack on two Pennsylvania state troopers in rural Pennsylvania could be connected to the unprovoked attack on a New Jersey teenager shot and killed by a Muslim sympathizer:

Commissioner Noonan said that the PSP interviewed a suspect described as a "person of interest," although the Commissioner said that authorities are talking to hundreds of people in conjunction with the investigation.

A massive manhunt continued on Saturday (September 13) after the two Pennsylvania state troopers were gunned down during a shift-change on Friday.

Dickson, who became a PA state trooper in 2007, transferred to the Blooming Grove barracks a few months ago from Philadelphia, Noonan said. The commissioner described both men as young officers with families.

"Our troopers were leaving the barracks and were shot without warning and really had no chance to defend themselves," Noonan said. "It's a cowardly attack. It's an attack upon all of us in society and the people of Pennsylvania."

The Scranton, PA TIMES-TRIBUNE, WNEP and THE ASSOCIATED PRESS identified Jeffrey Hudak, 48, as a person being questioned. However, WBRE and WYOU reported that Hudak is not considered a suspect.

The troopers were shot at approximately 2300 hours on Friday at the barracks in the township of nearly 5,000 people, located about 35 miles east of Scranton. 

On Saturday, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett released a statement on the tragedy. "Our prayers go out to the family, friends and colleagues of the Pennsylvania State Police trooper who was killed in the line of duty Friday night," he said. "We are praying as well for the full recovery of his colleague who was injured in the incident. Every attack on an officer of the law is an attack on our state, our country and civilized society."

Several roads around the barracks, including parts of Routes 402 and 6 and Interstate 84, were closed earlier this morning.

Police are asking anyone with information to call 911 or the Honesdale State Police barracks at 570-253-7126. 

There is also a $20,000 reward being offered for information that leads to an arrest of the person or people responsible for the shooting.

The TIMES-TRIBUNE also reported that this is the second fatal shooting of a state trooper in northeastern Pennsylvania in the past five years. In 2009, trooper Joshua Miller, of Pittston, PA, was shot and killed in the line of duty after a high-speed chase ended in a hail of gunfire in Monroe County.