Police: Deadly Toll Plaza Robbery Committed by Retired Trooper
Officials say that a retired Pennsylvania State Trooper killed two men during an attempted toll plaza robbery on Sunday, then was killed in a shootout with State Police as he tried to escape.
The Pennsylvania State Police said that Clarence D. Briggs, 55, was a state trooper who retired in 2012.
According to officials, the incident happened around 7 a.m. at the Fort Littleton turnpike interchange, which is located in Dublin Township, Fulton County, west of Harrisburg. Briggs, armed, reportedly confronted two turnpike employees, ordered them to a nearby office building, then tried to tie them up. A struggle ensued, with both employees leaving the building just as a fare collection vehicle arrived at the interchange.
Briggs allegedly shot and killed two people: Daniel Crouse, a Turnpike employee, and Ronald Heist, a private security guard on the fare collection vehicle; a third person, the driver of the vehicle, fled on foot. (Heist, 71, was working for a private security company after a career as an officer with the York Police Department, the York Daily Record reports. Crouse, 55, had been on the job less than three months.)
Briggs then took the vehicle a short distance to where his car was parked, and attempted to transfer money from the state vehicle to his own. Troopers soon arrived: Briggs reportedly exchanged fire with the first one on the scene, and was himself shot. He died soon after.
PennLive reports Briggs and his wife filed for bankruptcy last year; Briggs was also charged with assault in a 2014 incident, though those charges were later dismissed.
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