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Troopers Recall Barracks Shooting in Day 2 of Frein Trial

MILFORD -- On day two of Eric Frein's death penalty trial, jurors heard both what it was like to be at the Blooming Grove state police barracks during the 2014 ambush and saw what the aftermath looked like.

Crime scene photos showed a slain Corporal Bryon Dickson on a hallway floor inside, all while his widow Tiffany sobbed in the courtroom saying, "he was such a good boy."

Prosecutors say Frein hid in the woods across from the barracks then opened fire on the husband and father of two, then fired at Trooper Alex Douglass who was just reporting to work with several other troopers.

Emergency responders testified to the frightening situation.

"It was very chaotic, it was chaotic because you didn't know all the gunfire you heard was cover fire or someone else. You were trying to do the best job you can then leave the scene," recalled Tafton Fire Chief Mike Miller.

Chief Miller helped get Trooper Douglass to a medical helicopter after the attack. Testifying at trial, he hopes, is the end of his duty from that night.

"It was very stressful. It was a couple years ago, and though you cannot put everything out of your mind, you go through you try to get it far back as possible, having to go through this again brought everything back to life again."

Five troopers who were inside the barracks took turns on the stand in the morning not one of them was in the line of fire but jumped into action trying to save both troopers' lives.

Fellow troopers testified about what it was like at the barracks that night in September 2014 when Corporal Bryon Dickson and Trooper Alex Douglass were shot. Cpl. Dickson was killed and Trooper Douglass was severely wounded. Frein was captured after a 48-day manhunt in Pike and Monroe Counties.

Troopers who witnessed the aftermath of the shooting took the stand Tuesday morning in the Pike County Courthouse. Trooper Douglass did not testify but he was in the courtroom.

The prosecution called troopers to the stand who were inside the barracks during the shooting.

The first witness was dispatcher Christine Donahue who remembered hearing three loud bangs the night of September 12, 2014.

She was at the Blooming Grove barracks and then saw Trooper Alex Douglass fall through the front door after being shot.  Donahue called for help.

Then, Trooper William Fells testified he heard a gunshot but didn't think anything of it until another dispatcher frantically told him Corporal Bryon Dickson and Trooper Douglass had been shot.

A handful of troopers then devised a plan to recover Cpl. Dickson from the front of the barracks.

"We used an SUV for cover, two troopers with me had shields. Everyone grabbed Dickson and drug him in," Tpr. Fells testified.

All four troopers who took the stand were former Marines, as was Cpl. Dickson. They described initial confusion then military instincts kicked in.

Trooper Benjamin Jones applied first aid to Tpr. Douglass as he was going into shock.

Troopers tried CPR and a defibrillator on Cpl. Dickson but there was no response.

Trooper Robert Golden testified he was trying to revive Cpl. Dickson and, "slapped him, yelling his name, looking in his eyes. There was nothing in his eyes at all."

Tpr. Golden told jurors he thought someone was trying to take over the barracks. It was an attack.

Eventually, ambulances arrived, taking Tpr. Douglass to the helicopter and eventually the hospital. His partner, Trooper Brian Seymour, held Douglass's hand during the flight.

The district attorney played audio of the troopers asking for help.

"I guess it's good to finally see him in custody and getting the trial he deserves and hopefully all the justice that comes with it is the right one," said Milford resident Michael Mahoney.

Frein's lawyers say he won't take the stand in his own defense.

Frein faces the possibility of the death penalty if convicted.

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