Fear of Trooper Shooting Suspect Closes Pocono-Area Schools

Public school officials in the Poconos canceled classes Wednesday, while the parochial school system canceled buses as authorities continue to search for a survivalist accused of killing a Pennsylvania State Trooper and wounding another outside state police barracks.

The Pocono Mountain School District canceled Wednesday classes "due to safety concerns for our students at bus stops with an armed and dangerous gunman still on the loose in the area," a statement on the district website reads.

Authorities are still searching for 31-year-old Eric Frein, who allegedly fatally shot Cpl. Bryon Dickson, 38, and critically wounded Trooper Alex Douglass Friday night.

Buses were not running Wednesday for students in the Notre Dame School System, part of the Diocese of Scranton, according to a post on the district's Facebook page. Classes at Notre Dame Elementary School and Junior and Senior High School in East Stroudsburg, as well as Monsignor McHugh in Cresco, were still held.

State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan said Frein, of Canadensis, Pa., is considered armed and "extremely dangerous."

Noonan warned residents in the area to be alert and cautious as authorities continue to search for the suspect, who is described as a heavily armed survivalist who holds a vendetta against police.

"He has made statements about wanting to kill law enforcement officers and also to commit mass acts of murder," Noonan said. "What his reasons are, we don't know. But he has very strong feelings about law enforcement and seems to be very angry with a lot of things that go in our society."

Hundreds of law enforcement officials are combing the dense woods of northeastern Pennsylvania, although authorities admit they are unsure of Frein's location.

Frein was charged Tuesday with first-degree murder, homicide of a law enforcement officer and other related offenses. The suspect's father described him as an excellent marksman who "doesn't miss," according to a police affidavit.

Officials with the Pocono Mountain School District decided to cancel classes Tuesday night. It is unclear if students will return to school Thursday.

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