PA Turnpike Shooting – 3 dead -including Shooter

By Faye Higbee

PA Turnpike Shooting – 3 dead -including Shooter

A retired Pennsylvania State Police Trooper shot and killed one Turnpike employee and one Security Guard, then was shot dead by police after a robbery attempt at the Fort Littleton Toll Plaza on Sunday.

You can hear the frantic call for help at this link. The woman caller appears to say that the suspect was wearing a mask and cargo pants. Parts of it are unintelligible.

Police investigate the scene of the Turnpike shooting – Twitter photo via @PatriotNews

York Dispatch reported,

Clarence Briggs, a former state trooper who retired four years ago, confronted two Pennsylvania Turnpike toll collectors with a handgun at the toll plaza in Dublin Township, 65 miles west of Harrisburg, police said. Briggs ordered both into an adjoining office and tried to tie them up but fled after a struggle, authorities said. Both employees left the building as a fare collection vehicle arrived and Heist emerged, state police said.

Briggs then shot and killed Turnpike employee Danny Crouse, who had been on the job less than 3 months. He also then shot Heist. One of the ironies is that Ronald Heist, the security officer killed, was also a retired York City police officer.

“While inside the building, Briggs attempted to tie up both victims when a struggle ensued and Briggs fled the building. Both employees exited the building, and at the same time, a fare collection vehicle arrived at the interchange. Turnpike employee Daniel Crouse and the fare collection vehicle security guard Ronald Heist were confronted by the actor and then shot and killed. The actor then began to fire shots at the fare collection vehicle. The driver of the fare collection vehicle was able to flee on foot. Briggs then gained access to the fare collection vehicle and drove it a short distance across State Route 522 to an area where his car was parked. Briggs attempted to unload money from the fare collection vehicle to his car.” State Police Press Release

It was then that a Trooper  arrived and exchanged gunfire with Briggs, who died at the scene.

It couldn’t have been easy for them to shoot one of their own, but when someone goes that bad, there is no choice. Briggs had spent 26 years on the job as a state trooper.

Clarence Briggs

“I can’t imagine what prompted him to do it.” Newville, PA resident

Briggs and his wife declared bankruptcy in 2015, according to The Morning Call. Their debt load was unbelievably high, at $315,000 in credit card, student loan, mortgage and vehicle loan debt. He was arrested in 2014 for domestic violence, but charges were dismissed. Let’s just say that financial issues are one of the biggest stressors in life.