Two state troopers were shot, one fatally, in a multi-scene shootout with a man who initially fired bullets into state police vehicles outside police barracks in central Pennsylvania, authorities said.
Brandon Stine drove his pickup truck to the barracks in Mifflintown Saturday morning, got out of the vehicle and shot from a long rifle into marked police cars, Col. Christopher Paris, the Pennsylvania State Police commissioner, said at a news conference Sunday.
Stine, 38, then fled the scene in his truck, Paris said.
A wide manhunt for Stine began that included helicopter reinforcement.
State Trooper Lt. James Wagner located Stine early that afternoon and they exchanged gunfire, Paris said. A shot from Stine’s gun struck and critically injured Wagner, according to Paris.
“At this point in the incident, multiple citizens and witnesses arrived to provide aid to Lt. Wagner and use the radio that was in his car to summon additional troopers, (emergency medical services) and first responders to help,” Paris said. Stine fled the scene again.
Wagner was transported to Lewistown Hospital and later life flighted to the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, where he remained in critical condition Sunday, according to police.
Another state trooper, 29-year-old Jacques F. Rougeau Jr., encountered Stine while driving the borough’s outskirts in what authorities called an ambush. Stine shot through Rougeau’s windshield, striking and killing him, Lt. Colonel George Givens said at the news conference.
The shooter made another escape in what police described as “a game of cat and mouse,” and he fled into a rural residential area in Walker Township, Givens said.
Authorities chased Stine through a residential area and a parking lot, where they confronted him again. Stine started a shootout with police in the parking lot, which was occupied by patrons of a nearby store, police said.
“What I witnessed, and I will tell you in my many years with the Pennsylvania State Police and many serious situations, was one of the most intense, unbelievable gunfights I have ever witnessed,” Givens said. “Our troopers put themselves between those people and, and by force with their vehicles and by engaging him, forced him away from the business.”
Police cornered Stine when he became stuck against a row of trees on a nearby property, and he was shot and killed, Givens said.
“Each one put themselves on the line to protect their fellow troopers – and to protect their fellow Pennsylvanians,” Shapiro tweeted about Wagner and Rougeau.
Mifflintown is about 150 miles west of Philadelphia.