Accused cop killer and one of the FBI’s most wanted fugitives Eric Frein has been captured alive, sources told ABC News tonight.
Authorities spent nearly seven weeks hunting for Frein, 31, who is accused of killing one state trooper and wounding another in an ambush outside a police barracks.
The self-styled survivalist evaded capture in a vast wooded area of northeastern Pennsylvania that officials said he knew extremely well.
After countless hours of searching, a team of heavily armed federal marshals spotted him at the Birchwood-Pocono Airpark, an abandoned airport near Tannersville.
Officials had feared the lengthy manhunt could have culminated in a violent showdown with Frein, who they said had been carrying around a sniper rifle and a handgun during his weeks on the run.
But when the marshals found him in an open field away from the airport hangar, he was unarmed, authorities said.
“He was definitely taken by surprise,” said State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan.
Frein obeyed the marshals’ order to get down on his hands and knees, and acknowledged his identity.
Officers shackled him with handcuffs belonging to Cpl. Bryon Dickson, the state trooper he is accused of fatally shooting on September 12.
The fugitive was taken away in Dickson’s car.
“We just thought it was fitting,” Noonan said, describing it as a tribute to the dead officer.