(MIFFLINTOWN, Pa.) — A state police trooper was killed and another was critically injured during two violent encounters with the same armed suspect in central Pennsylvania, the first unfolding in the parking lot of a state police barracks, authorities said.
The suspect, Brandon Stine of Thompsontown, Pennsylvania, was fatally shot during a gunfight with officer Jacques Rougeau Jr., a 29-year-old state police trooper, who was killed, according to the Pennsylvania State Police.
State Police Lt. Col. George Bivens described the exchange of gunfire between the officer and suspect as being like in “a warzone,” according to ABC affiliate station WHTM-TV in Harrisburg.
The violence began at 12:45 p.m. Saturday when the gunman opened fire on Pennsylvania state trooper James Wagner in the parking lot of the Lewiston Station state police barracks near Mifflintown, about 45 miles northwest of Harrisburg, according to police. Wagner was taken to the hospital and was listed in critical condition on Sunday, police said.
After allegedly shooting Wagner, Stein fled the scene, setting off an intense search that lasted more than two hours, according to police.
During the search, Stine called 911 several times, Bivens said. State police officers attempted to talk Stine into surrendering but Bivens said the suspect seemed to be “playing a game of cat and mouse.”
Police eventually tracked down Stein and cornered him in Walker Township, about 50 miles northwest of Mifflintown, Bivens said.
Rougeau was among the first officers to arrive at the scene in Walker Township and was hit by a bullet that was fired through his windshield in what authorities said appeared to be an ambush by Stine, according to Bivens. Rougeau managed to return fire, killing Stine, according to police.
Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro and Pennsylvania State Police Col. Christopher Paris visited Wagner and his family in a hospital.
“I thanked his colleagues for their service and prayed for his recovery,” Shapiro said in a statement released on Twitter.
Shapiro said he and his wife Lori “send our love to the family of the trooper killed.”
Shapiro praised the two state troopers who were shot, saying, “Each one put themselves on the line to protect their fellow troopers — and to protect their fellow Pennsylvanians.”
A motive for the shootings remained under investigation Sunday.
At least 25 U.S. law enforcement officers have now been shot to death in the line of duty this year, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page. In 2022, a total of 61 U.S. law enforcement officers were killed by gunfire in the line of duty, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page website.