© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer 8:16 pm
BLOOMING GROVE, PA. – (This just in – An ambulance was called to the search area in Price/Barrett Townships. The ambulance was summoned for a law enforcement officer who had a minor medical issue, and the issue was not associated with the search operations. The officer is being treated, however, no further information will be released.)
The Pennsylvania State Police are continuing their investigation into the shooting incident that occurred at the Blooming Grove station where two Pennsylvania State Police troopers were ambushed by Eric Matthew Frein. Governor Tom Corbett and State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan are closely monitoring this investigation – and the Governor has made all commonwealth resources available for this investigation as needed.
“Based on our investigation, we know Frein has prepared and planned extensively for months or maybe years,” said state police Lt. Col. George Bivens, deputy commissioner of operations. “He planned his attack and his retreat — however, we believe we are closing in on him.” “Up until now his advantage has been that this is his backyard, he knows this rugged terrain.” “Our tactical operations people now also know his backyard, the area he once felt safe in – we are pushing him hard, he is no longer safe there and I am confident he will be apprehended,” said Lt. Col. Bivens.
“Based on our investigation, our search efforts at this point in time are primarily focused around the Pike and Monroe county border,” said Lt. Col. Bivens. “We continue to follow-up on other leads and as we track his movements, our search efforts will be refocused accordingly.” State police are making significant progress in the investigation and have found several items he has abandoned or hidden for possible future use. Some of those items include an AK-47-style weapon and a significant number of rounds of ammunition, among other things.
“We are asking the public to use common sense and please avoid going into the wooded areas in and around Barrett and Price townships, as well as the Delaware State Forest area,” said Lt. Col. Bivens. “We know archery season is right around the corner and hunters might be setting up equipment – so, we are asking you to refrain from that in these areas until Frein is captured,” said Lt. Col. Bivens.
“However, if you do have photos or videos previously taken from trail cameras in those areas we are asking you to review those images and provide them to law enforcement should they contain images of Frein or other suspicious activity,” said Lt. Col. Bivens. “Also, if the public is aware of any shelters or bunkers that Frein may have constructed or used in the past to please report that information to the state police.”
“We’ve had several possible sightings that are being investigated at this time,” said Lt. Col. Bivens. Frein may have his head shaved tightly on both sides with long hair on top, wider than a Mohawk. This hairstyle is completely different from the hairstyle Frein had worn for years. Keep in mind, Frein may have changed his appearance since he was last seen. Investigators believe that this change was made as part of the mental preparation to commit this cowardly act. The Pennsylvania State Police has received hundreds of tips many offering credible information – and will continue to pursue each one.
The state police understand and share the concerns expressed about community safety and specifically the safety of our children attending schools in the area. “While we can never completely rule out an act of violence, I am convinced that Frein has engaged in a personal battle with law enforcement specifically the Pennsylvania State Police and will likely stay focused on that fight,” said Lt. Col. Bivens.
PSP is still recommending a number of precautions:
First and foremost be alert and vigilant. If you see any vehicles or individuals
that are out of the ordinary, please report them to 911 or our tip line (866-
Do not approach or encounter any suspicious persons or vehicles, but rather
report them immediately. The suspect is still considered armed and
Lock all doors to both your residence and your vehicles.
At night, keep the exterior of your home well-lit.
Look for open shed doors or other locations that were once secure but now
appear open, and immediately report the information.
The FBI added Eric Matthew Frein to their top 10 most wanted fugitive list. This added a $100,000 reward on top of the existing $75,000 reward from PA Crime Stoppers and other private and non-profit organizations. The addition of Frein to the list allows for a country-wide broadcast of Frein’s information, and additional resources from the FBI. The FBI is supporting the state police by making available manpower, air and technical assistance. Other local, state and federal agencies are assisting the PSP as well.