By Molly Daly, Matt Rivers
BLOOMING GROVE, Pa. (CBS) – A massive, multi-state manhunt is underway after two Pennsylvania State Police troopers were shot outside their barracks — one fatally — in the Poconos Friday night.
“It’s an attack against all of us in society and the people of Pennsylvania,” Pa. State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan says.
Noonan says the incident happened outside the Blooming Grove Barracks around 11 p.m.:
“This attack was an ambush. Our troopers were leaving the barracks and were shot without warning, and really had no chance to defend themselves.”
Corporal Bryon Dixon was pronounced dead at the scene. Trooper Alex Douglass is hospitalized in critical but stable condition. Noonan says investigators are leaving no stone unturned as they work to find the person or people responsible:
“We’re going to be searching and using our helicopters. We’re gonna use every possible technique and piece of equipment we have until we have this person in custody.”
Officials believe the suspect left the rural area where the shooting happened. They say the suspect is considered armed and dangerous. Police interviewed a person of interest, but don’t consider that person a suspect.
Officials believe the suspect was looking to attack law enforcement, but they wouldn’t say if the two officers shot were the specific targets.
Noonan describes both troopers as young men with families and calls the crime “heartbreaking:”
“The only consolation we have right now is we’re all working so hard, we haven’t had the chance to deal with the emotions of this terrible act.”
Corporal Dixon graduated from the police academy in 2007 and recently transferred to the Blooming Grove Barracks from Philadelphia.
Governor Tom Corbett issued the following statement on the shooting:
“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 outside the Blooming Grove, Pike County, state police barracks. We are praying as well, for the full recovery of his colleague who was injured in the incident.”
Corbett says flags on both the state capitol building and government buildings in Pike County should be lowered to half staff.
A $20,000 reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction of the suspect in this case.
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