Suspect in Killings at Pennsylvania Turnpike Toll Booth Was Retired State Trooper

Suspect in Killings at Pennsylvania Turnpike Toll Booth Was Retired State Trooper

Two employees were killed in an attempted robbery on the Pennsylvania Turnpike in which the suspect was also shot and killed.

According to state police, the suspect is Clarence Briggs, a retired Pennsylvania State Police Trooper from Newville. Briggs retired honorably from PSP after 26 years of service in January 2012.

Daniel Crouse, 55, and Ronald Heist, 71, died in the incident.

Crouse was a toll worker who had only been on the job for three months.

Heist was a security guard contracted by the turnpike. He is a former York City police officer.

State police say the crime occurred just before 7 a.m. Sunday at the Fort Littleton Interchange in Dublin Township, Fulton County in south-central Pennsylvania.

Capt. David Cain, of the Pennsylvania State Police Troop T, said Briggs confronted Crouse and another employee while they were working in a toll booth.

Briggs displayed a handgun and ordered Crouse and the other employee to go to the turnpike office building, where Briggs attempted to tie them up.

A struggle ensued, then Briggs left the building.

Crouse and the other employee left the office building, and at the same time, a fare collection armored vehicle arrived at the interchange.

Heist, the fare collection vehicle security guard, exited the car and was confronted by Briggs. Then, Briggs shot and killed Crouse and Heist.

Briggs fired shots at the vehicle, and the driver was able to flee on foot.

Briggs got into the vehicle and drove it a short distance across SR 522 to an area where his car was parked.

Briggs started to unload money from the armored vehicle and into his car.

Troopers arrived on scene minutes after the call came across the radio.

The first responding trooper that arrived on scene encountered Briggs from a distance and exchanged gunfire.

The trooper shot Briggs, who succumbed to his injuries at the scene.

Troop G of the PSP in Hollidaysburg is actively investigating the incident.

Briggs retired from Troop T Newville station, which is part of the turnpike system.

“On behalf of my fellow Turnpike commissioners and everybody in the PA Turnpike family, we are all deeply saddened by this horrific tragedy,” Turnpike Chairman Sean Logan said. “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.”

Turnpike chairman Sean Logan said commissioners and other officials are “deeply saddened by this horrific tragedy.”

Logan says he will ensure turnpike employees and their families will receive counseling if needed.

The ramp at Exit 180 remains closed in both directions, but traffic is not backed up in the area.


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