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Suspect in killings at PA Turnpike toll booth was retired state trooper

Photo Credit: @LeahMKirstein

Photo Credit: @LeahMKirstein

FULTON COUNTY, Pa.– A press conference held by the Pennsylvania State Police on Sunday afternoon, revealed details about a deadly attempted robbery at a PA Turnpike toll booth earlier in the day.

Investigators say around 7:00 a.m., a man confronted two turnpike employees at exit 180, the Fort Littleton interchange , in Dublin Township, Fulton County.

The suspect is identified as 55-year old Clarence Briggs, a retired trooper with the Pennsylvania State Police. Briggs is from Newville, Cumberland County.

Officials say Briggs displayed a handgun and ordered both employees to enter the turnpike office building. While inside the building, Briggs attempted to tie up both of the employees, when a struggle began and Briggs fled the building.  Both employees left the building, and at the same time, a fare collection vehicle arrived at the interchange.

Turnpike employee Daniel Crouse, age 55, and the fare collection vehicle security guard Ronald Heist, age 71, were then shot and killed.  Briggs then began to fire shots at the fare collection vehicle.  The driver of that vehicle was able to flee on foot.  Briggs then gained access to the fare collection vehicle and drove it a short distance on Route 522 to an area where his car was parked.  Briggs attempted to unload money from the fare collection vehicle and place it in his car.

Troopers arrived at the scene minutes after the original call for help. The first trooper on scene encountered Briggs and gunfire was exchanged.  Briggs was shot and died from his injuries at the scene.  The Troop G, Hollidaysburg, major case team was activated to investigate.  The investigation is ongoing.

While employed with PSP, Briggs was assigned to Troop T in Newville. He retired honorably in 2012.

Investigators say turnpike toll collector Daniel Crouse, had been on the job less for than three months. Security guard Ronald Heist, was a retired police officer from the York City Police Department.

The Fort Littleton exit will remained closed until approximately 9:00 Monday morning.