A 48-day manhunt ended Thursday with Pennsylvania survivalist Eric Frein shackled with the handcuffs of the state trooper cops say he killed.
Frein, 31, was run to ground near an abandoned airport hanger.
He surrendered without a fight when he realized he was surrounded, officials said.
Prosecutors said they’ll seek the death penalty.
He’s charged with first-degree murder and various other offenses, including two counts of possession of weapons of mass destruction after police discovered pipe bombs he had hidden in the woods.
Cops say Frein opened fire outside the Blooming Grove barracks on Sept. 12, killing Cpl. Bryon Dickson and seriously wounding Trooper Alex Douglass.
Frein, clean-shaven with a bloody nose, was placed in Dickson’s car for his return to civilization.
His capture was a relief to nervous residents of the rural woodsy area that provided him cover for weeks.
Douglass, seriously wounded in the pelvis, was given a hero’s reception when released from Geisinger Community Medical Center to a rehabilitation center on Oct. 16.
The shooter, who made the FBI’s 10 most wanted list on Sept. 18, left behind personal belongings including a partially submerged SUV, an identity card and matching shell casings which linked Frein to the crime, police said.
For seven weeks, Frein had remained largely out of sight while leaving traces of his whereabouts through the Poconos including two pipe bombs, empty packs of Serbian cigarettes, an AK-47-style assault rifle and ammunition, police said.
They also reported finding soiled diapers and a journal believed to have been kept by Frein that disturbingly recounted the tragic shooting.
Writing of Dickson in that notebook, the author chillingly described the father-of-two as falling “still and quiet” after being shot twice.
Authorities said Frein was spotted several times from a distance during their exhausting hunt but each time he managed to evade capture.
He appeared to be treating the manhunt as a game, they said.
Back at the Canadensis home where Frein lived with his parents, authorities found a U.S. Army manual called “Sniper Training and Employment” in his bedroom along with additional matching shell casing.
He had belonged to a military re-enactor’s group, playing the part of a Serbian soldier, and for many years held anti-law enforcement views that he expressed both online and to people who knew him.
His father, a retired Army major, told authorities that his son is an excellent marksman who “doesn’t miss,” according to a police affidavit.
With Frein on the loose, the surrounding areas remained largely on lockdown with festivities including Trick or Treating in Barrett Township being cancelled out of caution by the town’s supervisors.
With News Wire Services