Onlookers shouted “Are you sorry?” and “Why did you do it?” as state troopers led a suspect in a fatal police barracks ambush from his first court appearance following a seven-week manhunt.
Pike County District Attorney Raymond Tonkin says Eric Frein’s capture and preliminary arraignment yesterday brought some comfort to the Pennsylvania region after an “unimaginable loss of unspeakable proportions”.
State police say troopers have been interviewing the 31-year-old survivalist but will not disclose details of what he has said or a possible motive.
Frein is charged with killing Corporal Bryon Dickson and critically wounding Trooper Alex Douglass on September 12.
Authorities captured Frein on Thursday near an abandoned aircraft hangar, ending a 48-day search.
State Police Lt Col George Bivens said the search has cost about $10m (£6.2m).
Prosecutors will seek the death penalty for Frein, who meekly gave himself up when surrounded.
State police said they did not know whether Frein, who was unarmed when captured, had been using the hangar as a shelter during his 48 days on the run.
Frein was held in the handcuffs of the trooper he is accused of killing, Governor Tom Corbett said.
The quiet capture ended weeks of tension and turmoil in the area, as authorities at times closed schools, cancelled outdoor events and blockaded roads to pursue him.
Frein is charged with opening fire outside the Blooming Grove barracks on September 12, killing Cpl Dickson and seriously wounding Tpr Douglass.
After his arrest near the abandoned hangar, he was placed in Cpl Dickson’s car for the ride back to the barracks, about 30 miles away.
Tpr Douglass and his family and Cpl Dickson’s family expressed “relief and gratitude” over Frein’s arrest, Mr Noonan said.
Police said they linked Frein to the ambush after a man walking his dog discovered his partly submerged car three days later in a swamp a few miles from the shooting scene.
Inside, investigators found shell casings matching those found at the barracks as well as Frein’s driver’s licence, camouflage face paint, two empty rifle cases and military gear.
Law enforcement officials combed miles of forest as they hunted for Frein, and closed in on an area around his parents’ home in Canadensis after he used his mobile phone to try contacting them and the signal was traced.