A Pennsylvania state trooper was shot and killed through the window of his car on Saturday during a shootout wth a gunman who played “cat and mouse” with authorities – injuring another state trooper in a separate shooting.
Trooper Jacques F. Rougeau Jr, 29, died in the line of duty, during what was described as “an amazingly intense gunfight” and likened to a “warzone” by Lt. Col. George Bivens.
According to authorities, the suspect, who was named by authorities as Brandon Stine, 38, used a rifle typically associated with big game hunting to fire upon state troopers and their vehicles at various places across Juniata County.
The suspect’s rampage began in the morning, when he drove his truck into the parking lot of the Pennsylvania State Police Lewistown Station.
There, he began firing on official vehicles, shooting state trooper Lt. James Wagner, 45, at around 12.45pm in Mifflintown Borough before making his way to a shopping plaza in Walker Township.
It was there that police managed to locate the suspect, as terrified patrons were plunged into lockdown and officers leapt from moving vehicles in an attempt to protect members of the public from the shooter.
“In my opinion, after watching and being briefed, it’s a miracle no members of the public were hurt or killed,” Commissioner Christopher Paris told the Philadelphia Inquirer.
In the chaos that followed, the suspect managed to flee to Swamp Road and Baumgardner Drive in Walker Township, where a gunfight ensued with authorites – leaving both the suspect and Trooper Rougeau fatally wounded.
Governor Josh Shapiro tweeted following the shooting: “Today, I ordered all Commonwealth flags to fly at half-staff in honor of @PAStatePolice Trooper Jacques F. Rougeau Jr., who was killed in the line of duty yesterday.
“Lori and I send our prayers to his family as they grieve their fallen hero.”
The shooting rampage came one day after President Joe Biden urged Congres to tackle gun violence and pass a new assault weapons ban.
“Whether you’re Democrats or Republicans we all want families to be safe. We all want to drop them off at a house of worship, a mall, a movie, a school door without worrying that it’s the last time we’re going to see them,” he said on Friday.
“We all want our kids to have the freedom to learn, to read and to write instead of learning how to duck and cover in a classroom.
“And above all, we all agree we are not finished. We are not finished. We are not finished.”