Former state trooper shot dead after killing 2, police say

Story highlights

  • Retired state trooper confronts tollbooth employees with gun, police say
  • The ex-trooper kills tollbooth employee and security guard, police say
  • Ex-trooper Clarence D. Briggs, 55, was shot and died at the scene, they say

(CNN)A retired Pennsylvania state trooper was shot and killed after he attempted armed robbery and killed a tollbooth employee and a security guard, the Pennsylvania State Police said.

Clarence D. Briggs, 55, confronted two tollbooth employees shortly before 7 a.m. Sunday at the Pennsylvania Turnpike's Fort Littleton interchange and displayed a handgun, Pennsylvania State Police said in a statement. Briggs ordered the two employees into a nearby building, where he attempted to tie them up.
    After a struggle, the two employees escaped as a fare collection vehicle approached the area, according to police. Briggs shot and killed one of the tollbooth employees and a security guard for the vehicle, police said.
    Briggs attempted to rob the vehicle after the driver fled, and he tried to unload money into his car that was parked nearby, police said.
    Police soon arrived. An exchange of gunfire followed, and a trooper shot Briggs, who died at the scene.
    The victims were turnpike employee Daniel Crouse and Ronald Heist, the security guard for the fare collection vehicle.
    Pennsylvania Turnpike Chairman Sean Logan expressed condolences to the victims' families.
    "On behalf of my fellow Turnpike commissioners and everybody in the PA Turnpike family, we are all deeply saddened by this horrific tragedy," 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."
    Briggs retired from the force in January 2012. The investigation is in its early stages, according to police.