Suspect in Pennsylvania police ambush had researched how to evade manhunts

The suspect at the center of a massive manhunt in Pennsylvania had spent years planning an ambush against police that left one state trooper dead and another seriously wounded, police said Friday.

Authorities have examined the hard drive of a computer that Eric Matthew Frein had access to and found an extensive Internet search history on subjects such as “how to avoid police manhunts, use of various law enforcement technologies and skills related to survival,” Pennsylvania State Police Lt. Col George Bivens said Friday, CNN reported.

The searches come from a computer that Frein is believed to have used; police say that Frein had removed the hard drive from his own computer, the Associated Press reported.

“He planned his attack and his retreat,” Bivens has previously said.

Frein, 31, has been charged with murder and assault in the Sept. 12 shooting near a state police barracks in the northeastern part of the state. Cpl. Bryon Dickson was killed and trooper Alex Douglass was seriously wounded. Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan has described the incident as an “ambush,” as the officers were shot without warning.

The manhunt for Frein has stretched into a second week and has shaken local communities; schools have closed and area residents sheltered in place over the weekend. Frein is thought to have taken refuge in the Pocono Mountains, and more than 1,000 personnel have combed a mountainous area over several square miles.

“I suspect he wants to have a fight with the state police, but I think that involves hiding and running since that seems to be the way he operates,” Bivens said, the Associated Press reported.

Investigators have previously found items such as an assault rifle, magazines and ammunition that Frein had left behind. This week, police came across empty cigarette packs in the rugged terrain that they believe belonged to Frein. The FBI describes him as a “heavy smoker, a weapons enthusiast and a survivalist.”

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