MILFORD, Pa. (Morning session, April 5, 2017) - ”I wanted to drape the American flag over his body because he had been a Marine like myself and that's how we take care of our dead." - State Trooper Robert Golden 

MILFORD, Pa. (Morning session, April 5, 2017) - ”I wanted to drape the American flag over his body because he had been a Marine like myself and that's how we take care of our dead." - State Trooper Robert Golden
Wound one, wait for his comrades to come rescue him and then pick them off one by one.
State Trooper Robert Golden was familiar with these sniper tactics from his time as a U.S. Marine sergeant on combat tours in the Philippines and Iraq. Golden knew the response to a sniper attack is limiting the enemy sniper's ability to do any further harm to your comrades.
When starting his midnight shift at the state police Blooming Grove barracks on Sept. 12, 2014, Golden had no idea he was walking into a situation that would require him to summon his military combat experience.
On Wednesday morning, more than two years later, Golden testified in Pike County Court about the night one fellow trooper was killed and another wounded by sniper fire coming from the woods on the other side of Route 402 from the state police barracks.
On the other side of the courtroom from the witness stand, the accused sniper, Eric Frein, sat listening quietly to testimony from Golden and others on the second day of Frein's trial on first-degree-murder and other charges. Wearing a different suit and tie from the one he had worn when the trial began Tuesday, Frein sat back in his chair, with his hands either together in his lap or holding a pen and notepad to jot down his own questions or thoughts to share with his attorneys.
Golden testified to entering the police barracks to start his shift that night and encountering fellow troopers who told him Cpl. Byron Dickson and Trooper Alex Douglass had been shot. Police communications operators Nicole Palmer and Christine Donahue, whose duties included taking and relaying emergency calls to troopers out on patrol, had alerted the troopers to the shootings and were on the phones, requesting help from surrounding ambulance companies and law enforcement agencies.
Dickson was lying just outside the barracks entrance/exit facing Route 402, having taken one bullet through his bullet-proof vest and lung and another through his spinal cord between his shoulders. Douglass, who likewise had been coming on to start the midnight shift, spotted the fallen Dickson and tried pulling him into the building, was lying wounded in the barracks lobby, having been shot through both hips.
Golden joined other troopers in quickly formulating a plan, grabbing long guns and ballistic shields from the barracks weapons locker.
First, one trooper propped open the inner door to the lobby, aiming a rifle at the entrance/exit to lay down any protective cover fire if needed, while another trooper pulled the wounded Douglass to safety inside the inner doorway.
Then, other troopers drove a police SUV, placing ballistic shields to the windows on the side facing the woods across Route 402, around to the front of the barracks, using the SUV itself as a shield against any further sniper fire. Troopers then picked the dying Dickson up from the sidewalk and carried him into the building.
Troopers then started CPR on Dickson.
"I slapped his face and said, 'Dickson, are you there?,'" Golden testified, keeping his composure though still visibly affected by that night's events. "I looked in his eyes and saw nothing. We ripped open his shirt, removed his vest and saw the hole in his chest where he'd been shot. There were no signs of life."
Another trooper tried using an automatic external defibrillator, but the device registered no pulse coming from Dickson.
Golden sent an armed trooper to guard the stairwell to the barracks' rear entrance in case anyone tried coming in that way. Golden himself began closing the blinds in all windows facing the woods across Route 402 and shutting off all lights that didn't need to be on in order to limit the sniper's ability to see inside the building.
Meanwhile, other troopers were tending to Douglass, who appeared to be going into shock and was asking someone to get him some water or a soda, Golden testified.
"I lay down right next to Douglass, looked right in his eyes and told him to hang on because help was coming," Golden said.
After securing the building, troopers went to the side garage entrance, where ambulance personnel arrived shortly afterward. By then, nothing more could be done for the deceased Dickson.
"I wanted to drape the American flag over his body because he had been a Marine like myself and that's how we take care of our dead," Golden said. "But, there was no flag anywhere in the barracks, so we used a blanket instead."
Douglass, however, was driven by ambulance to a medical helicopter landing site at the Wallenpaupack Area School District and then flown to Community Medical Center in Scranton, where he was treated for his injury.
When later told to go with other troopers to an incident command post set up not far from the barracks, Golden initially didn't want to go.
"I wanted to stay with Dickson's body because Marines don't leave their dead unattended," he said.
More testimony is expected this afternoon at the Pike County Courthouse.