Suspected sniper faces death penalty over US state trooper murder

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Suspected sniper faces death penalty over US state trooper murder

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Police in the US state of Pennsylvania say they have captured a survivalist suspected of killing a state trooper and planning attacks on several others.

A seven-week manhunt ended in the Pocono Mountains.

Eric Matthew Frein, 31, had eluded capture since ambushing law enforcement officers on September 12, outside a state police barracks in Blooming Grove. The attack killed Corporal Bryon Dickson, 38, and wounded 31-year-old Trooper Alex Douglass

Commissioner Frank Noonan, Pennsylvania State Police said: “The reason this was so important is because Eric Frein was dedicated to killing law enforcement members. He had at least one sniper rifle that we knew of. We knew he had a handgun. We knew at the beginning that he had explosive charges with him.”

Police have said the suspect, an expert marksman, who dressed like a Serbian solider in a war reenactment group, held a longstanding grudge against law enforcement but they have provided little evidence.

Frein’s capture may finally shed light on the mysteries surrounding a brazen crime and how he was able to stay one step ahead of authorities.

Prosecutors will seek capital punishment for Frein, who faces a first degree murder charge and one count of homicide of a police officer, among others.