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Eric Frein, wanted for ambushing Pennsylvania police, arrested

PHOENIX — A man suspected of killing a Pennsylvania police officer and wounding another in an ambush has been captured.

State police confirmed Eric Frein was taken into custody but released no details.

A federal law enforcement official in Washington said Frein was armed when he was captured by U.S. marshals on Thursday. The official wasn’t authorized to discuss the circumstances of Frein’s arrest and spoke to The Associated Press anonymously.

Frein, 31, is charged with opening fire at the Blooming Grove barracks on Sept. 12. He had managed to elude hundreds of law enforcement officials looking for him in the thick woods around his parents’ home in Canadensis, in the Pocono Mountains, taking advantage of the difficult terrain to keep them at bay. He was believed to be armed with at least one high-powered rifle.

Canadensis is about 90 miles from New York City.

A page from what is believed to be Frein’s journal recounted the shooting in what police described as a “cold-blooded and absolutely chilling account.”

Frein wrote that he saw his shot and took it, watching from a distance as his victim — who turned out to be Cpl. Bryon Dickson — dropped to the ground. “I was surprised at how quick,” he wrote, according to police.

“I will tell you, after reading this cold-blooded and absolutely chilling account, I can only describe Eric Frein’s actions as pure evil,” said Lt. Col. George Bivens at a news conference Wednesday.

Authorities found the multipage journal in a bag of trash at a wooded campsite they believe was used by the 31-year-old suspect. The document describes how Frein fled the shooting scene in a Jeep, but inadvertently ran into a retention pond and took off on foot — a botched getaway he termed a “disaster,” according to a police affidavit filed Wednesday.

The manhunt caused some towns to cancel Halloween.

Frein expressed anti-law enforcement views online and to people who knew him. His criminal record appears limited to a decade-old misdemeanor case involving items stolen from a World War II re-enactors event in upstate New York, for which he spent 109 days in jail.

Police found a U.S. Army manual called “Sniper Training and Employment” in his bedroom at his parents’ house, and his father, a retired Army major, told authorities that his son is an excellent marksman who “doesn’t miss,” according to a police affidavit. Authorities believe he had been planning a confrontation with police for years, citing information they found on a computer used by Frein.

Frein’s parents, reached by telephone on Thursday, declined to comment.

Frein belonged to a military re-enactors group, playing the part of a Serbian solder. He had a small role in a 2007 movie about a concentration camp survivor and helped with props and historical references on a documentary about World War I.

The FBI named him to its 10 most wanted list.

His 18-year-old sister, Tiffany Frein, earlier acknowledged that he “did something messed up” but told NBC News that he is “not a psycho.”

Frein is charged with first-degree murder and various other offenses, including two counts of possession of weapons of mass destruction filed after police discovered the pipe bombs.

Dickson, at his funeral, was called a devoted husband and father and “impeccable” ex-Marine who took his work seriously but also enjoyed making wooden toys for his young sons and finding humor in everyday situations. Trooper Alex Douglass was shot in the pelvis and critically injured in the ambush, which took place during a late-night shift change.

Douglass remained hospitalized until Oct. 16, when he was discharged to a rehabilitation facility.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.