A retired Pennsylvania state trooper was shot and killed by police after attempting to rob a toll plaza on a turnpike. The former trooper had killed one of the toll collectors and a security guard during the robbery.
Retired Trooper Clarence Briggs confronted two Pennsylvania Turnpike toll collectors on Sunday morning at the Fort Littleton toll plaza. Threatening the two men with a handgun, Briggs ordered the two men into an office where he attempted to tie them up. The two managed to escape after a struggle with Briggs and ran out of the office as a fare collection vehicle arrived and a security guard emerged, the Epoch Times reported.
At that point, the retired trooper opened fire and killed Danny Crouse, a newly hired toll collector, and security guard Ronald Heist. The security guard was also a retired cop, having served with a New York police department. He was currently employed by a detective agency as a guard for the turnpike authority.
After killing the two men, Briggs hot at the fare collection vehicle causing the driver to flee. He then jumped into the fair collection vehicle and drove it over to his car where he began to unload the money, Captain David Cain told the local news outlet.
Within minutes Pennsylvania troopers arrived on the scene. A gun battle began between Briggs and the troopers. Briggs was shot and died at the scene, according to police.
Officials told reporters they do not know why Briggs targeted the Fort Littleton Toll Plaza. Turnpike Chairman Sean Logan described it as one of the lowest volume interchanges.
Logan told reporters that his agency would “expend whatever resources necessary and make sure we find out exactly what transpired this morning and to make absolutely certain that our system is secure and that our employees are protected.” Robberies of these toll plazas are rare occurrences. Logan said there have been only a handful of robberies in the turnpike’s 75-year history.
Brigs retired from the Pennsylvania State Police in 2012. During his service as a trooper he was assigned to a division that worked closely with the turnpike system. Officials said it was possible that Briggs was waiting for the arrival of the fare collection vehicle.
The other toll collector was uninjured in the incident and is resting at home. He plans to return to work in a few days.