Ex-trooper kills 2 in PA turnpike holdup, is killed in shootout, police say

DUBLIN TOWNSHIP, Pa. (WHTM) – A retired State Trooper was shot and killed during a shootout after a toll booth heist left two others dead on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, Sunday morning.

State Police said the suspect in Sunday morning’s attempted toll booth heist was retired PA State Trooper Clarence Briggs, 55. Briggs retired in 2012 and was killed after a shootout with current State Police Troopers.

Police said the shooting occurred shortly before 7:30 a.m. at the toll booths near Exit 180 for Fort Littleton.

Officials said retired York City Police Officer Ronald Heist, 72, a private armed guard helping to collect money, was also killed. The toll booth worker killed is Daniel Crouse.

State Police said Briggs interrupted two toll booth employees working and forced them into the office building at gunpoint. Briggs attempted to tie up both employees; Crouse and another unidentified worker. Officials said a struggle ensued and the two employees were able to escape.

At the same time, a fare collection van with armed security guard Ronald Hesit pulled up. State Police said Heist and Crouse confronted Briggs who shot and killed them both. Briggs than fired shots at the van’s driver, who was able to escape unharmed. Officials said Briggs jumped in the van and took off toward his car parked a few hundred feet away to a parking lot across SR 522.

While Briggs was unloading the money into his car State Police arrived on scene and confronted Briggs. State Police said an exchange of gunfire ensued and Briggs was shot and killed. The responding Trooper was not hurt.

State Police said Briggs spent 26 years as a PA State Trooper with Troop T in Newville where he also lived.

“On behalf of my fellow Turnpike commissioners and everybody in the PA Turnpike family, we are all deeply saddened by this horrific tragedy,” said Turnpike Chairman Sean Logan. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the deceased victims, the turnpike employee, and the contractor. We cannot imagine what the families must be feeling right now. Certainly, today will be a day that none of us will soon forget.”

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