State police announced Jason Robison’s death in a Facebook post Saturday morning, but did not release any details.
The New York Daily News reported that Robison was killed about 10:30 a.m. “during an encounter with police” at his mobile home in Huntington County, but troopers have not confirmed that report.
Robison had been the subject of a growing manhunt since police believe he shot Trooper Landon Weaver around 6:30 p.m. Friday. Weaver was responding to a domestic violence call on Bakers Hollow Road in Juniata Township, about 85 miles east of Pittsburgh.
Shortly afterward, police released a photo of Robison, 32, before he dyed his hair purple. They asked the public to keep a lookout, but warned against approaching him, saying he may still be armed.
The Centre Daily Times reported that Robison had a lengthy criminal record: a dozen arrests with charges ranging from simple assault to arson. Still, much remained unclear about any suspected motive in the alleged attack on Weaver.
Weaver is the 97th member of the Pennsylvania State Police killed in the line of duty. He had been a Pennsylvania state trooper for a year and was assigned to a unit based out of nearby Huntingdon. In a statement, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) said Weaver “will always be remembered for his bravery, his sacrifice, and his willingness to serve.”
The nation has seen an uptick in lawmen killed this year, amid worries that anti-police sentiment is leading to increased attacks on officers. By Dec. 29, 135 officers had been killed in the line of the duty, a 10 percent jump from the year before, according to The Washington Post’s Mark Berman and Kevin Uhrmacher. Of those slain officers, 64 were shot, a 56 percent increase pushed up by a surge in ambush attacks.
Weaver’s death happened two years after the ambush of two other Pennsylvania State Police troopers, which left one injured and the other dead.
Cpl. Bryon Dickson was shot and killed by Eric Frein, a self-styled survivalist who eluded police in the woods of rural Pennsylvania for nearly two months, the FBI told The Post. Trooper Alex Douglass was injured when he came to Dickson’s aid.
Frein melted into the dense woods of the Pocono Mountains and eluded a dragnet of 1,000 officers for 48 days.