Juniata County, PA – One Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) trooper was murdered and a second trooper was wounded in two separate attacks by the same gunman on Saturday.
The incident began at approximately 11 a.m. on June 17, when 38-year-old Brandon Stine showed up at the PSP Troop G station in Lewistown and allegedly opened fire on multiple patrol vehicles using a high caliber rifle, WHP reported.
Stine then fled the scene.
One official likened the ensuing search for the gunman as “a game of cat and mouse,” according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Police said Stine was even calling 911 while police were searching for him, WHP reported.
At approximately 12:45 p.m., the suspect allegedly shot 45-year-old PSP Lieutenant James Wagner in Mifflintown Borough, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Witnesses used the radio in the wounded lieutenant’s patrol car to summon help after he was gunned down.
Lt. Wagner was rushed to a local hospital and later airlifted to Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
The lieutenant, who was listed in critical condition on Sunday, was acting as the Troop G station commander on the day of the attack while PSP Commissioner Colonel Christopher Paris was participating in a media briefing alongside President Joe Biden and Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro in Philadelphia, according to the news outlet.
Police located Stine near a rural shopping plaza in Walker Township shortly before 3 p.m., The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
Officials said customers inside a nearby restaurant ended up locking themselves inside as vehicles collided and officers leapt out of moving patrol units in their attempts to protect bystanders from the gunman.
Police ultimately surrounded the violent suspect in the parking lot of a restaurant on Swamp Road moments later.
During the ensuing shootout, Stine allegedly shot 29-year-old PSP Trooper Jacques Rougeau through the windshield of his vehicle, WHP reported.
The suspect was fatally shot when police returned fire.
🚨 UPDATE — TWO OFFICERS DOWN: Two Pennsylvania State Police Troopers were shot today in Juniata County. One trooper succumbed to his injuries and the second was transported to a local hospital with serious injuries.
— National Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) (@GLFOP) June 17, 2023
PSP Lieutenant Colonel George Bivens said the gunfight was “amazingly intense” and described the scene as “a war zone,” The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
Lt. Col. Bivens would not provide details regarding Stine’s motive due to the ongoing investigation.
Officials confirmed Trooper Rougeau’s death on Sunday.
The young trooper was just shy of his third year of service with the PSP, WHP reported.
Trooper Rougeau was assigned to Troop J after graduating from the 160th cadet class and transferred to Troop G in March.
He leaves behind his wife, WHP reported.
The West Goshen Police Department extends our deepest sympathy to the Pennsylvania State Police, the families, and friends of Trooper Rougeau. We are so sorry for your loss. We are praying for a full recovery for Lt. Wagner. pic.twitter.com/4pJhxBhpgP
— WestGoshenPD (@WestGoshenPD) June 18, 2023
“This is a tragedy for the Pennsylvania State Police,” Col Paris said. “We ask for your continued prayers for not only our Troopers, but also their families.”
Shapiro ordered Commonwealth flags be lowered to half-staff in honor of Trooper Rougeau, WHP reported.
“We are working on a full and unlimited investigation,” Col Paris said on Sunday, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. “In my opinion, after watching and being briefed, it’s a miracle no members of the public were hurt or killed.”
RIP Penn. State Trooper Jacques Rougeau, EOW 6/17/23.
Tpr. Rougeau was fatally shot by a suspect wanted for shooting a #PSP lieutenant earlier that day.
He was 29, served for three years & survived by his wife.
Always Honored, Never Forgotten.#thesacrificecontinue #PAPD #PAPBA pic.twitter.com/7jMhnp9CQf
— Port Authority PBA (@PAPD911) June 19, 2023
Trooper Rougeau is the 104th PSP trooper to die in the line of duty, WHP reported.