MILFORD, Pa. – Trooper William Fells had finished his duties for the day and sat down to watch TV for the last few minutes of his shift at the state police barracks in Blooming Grove when he heard a noise that sounded like a gunshot.
Others in the room did not react. "I thought maybe someone dropped something, I misheard it, and I went back to flipping through the channels on the TV," he said.
When a dispatcher came to tell him two troopers had been shot and he looked out to see them lying on the ground, he said, he began shouting "profanities."
His testimony about panicked moments inside a barracks under siege came on the second day of the death penalty trial of Eric Frein, who is accused of the sniper-style attack on the barracks in September 2014 that killed one trooper and wounded another.
Fells and four other troopers testified Wednesday, recounting the disbelief and panic that spread through the barracks as they learned of the shooting and rushed to secure the building and rescue their colleagues.
"My thought was … somebody was trying to take over the barracks," Trooper Robert Golden, who was also there that night, testified. "This was an attack. This was an attack on our barracks."
Frein, 33, is charged with first-degree murder, terrorism, and other crimes in the death of Cpl. Bryon Dickson and the shooting of Trooper Alex Douglass at the barracks that night. Frein, of Canadensis, Monroe County, eluded capture during a 48-day manhunt in the Poconos, drawing national attention and more than 1,000 law enforcement officers to Pike and Monroe Counties.
Frein, who is not expected to testify, took notes on a legal pad as he sat listening intently to witnesses Wednesday. He smiled at his mother as he was led out of the courtroom for a lunch break.
Troopers testified that they did not rush to aid Dickson, who lay bleeding on the sidewalk outside the barracks, because several of them, including Fells, had experience as Marines and knew that snipers often begin attacks by shooting one person to draw more outside.
Some troopers stood with guns and shields at entrances and in stairwells.
Others dragged Douglass, who had crawled into the lobby, inside. They pulled up a car to provide a shield while they attempted to rescue Dickson.
One trooper began packing Douglass' wound, which was on a hip. Douglass – who will testify later in the trial – asked for water and appeared to be going into shock, others testified.
"Where's the effing ambulance?" Douglass yelled at one point; jurors heard a recording Tuesday from police radio of his shouts and the rush to secure windows around him.
Dickson, meanwhile, was unresponsive as fellow troopers performed CPR. But, some testified, they sensed that he was already dead when they brought him inside.
"I remember slapping Dickson in the face and yelling, 'Dickson, are you there?'" Golden, who dragged him inside the barracks, testified. "Just looking in his eyes, there was nothing. There was nothing in his eyes at all."
By the time emergency responders arrived, Dickson was dead. Responders testified Tuesday about the rush to stabilize Douglass and transport him to a nearby school, where a helicopter landed to take him to the hospital.
"It was kind of just like chaos, I guess," said Michael Cummings, an emergency responder.
Because Golden and Dickson both served in the Marines, Golden said, he wanted to cover his body with a flag – "It's just the proper way to take care of our dead."
There was no flag in the barracks, so Golden asked another trooper to bring him a yellow emergency blanket. He returned hours later, prayed over the body, and escorted it for an autopsy.
Prosecutors showed several photos to jurors Wednesday of Dickson's body -- both under the blanket and exposed -- in the state that crime scene investigators found it. Dickson's widow sobbed as photos of her husband, his chest and face bloodied, were displayed on large television screens.
On the first day of the trial Tuesday, jurors heard a detailed and graphic account of the shooting from prosecutors during opening arguments and emotional testimony from a state police dispatcher who first discovered Dickson had been shot and saw him mouth the words "help me" to her as he lay on the sidewalk in front of the barracks.
A jury from Chester County is hearing the case and will be sequestered in Pike County for five nights a week during the trial, which is expected to last several weeks.