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Former State Trooper Robs Toll Booth, Kills Two, Before Dying In Gun Battle With Police

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Casey Harper Contributor
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A retired Pennsylvania state trooper allegedly attempted to rob a tollbooth Sunday and fatally shot the two tollbooth workers before dying in a shootout with police.

Police say Clarence Briggs, 55, allegedly killed tollbooth workers Ronald Heist, 72, and Daniel Crouse, 55, in an attempted robbery Sunday, Pennlive reports. Briggs was honorably discharged in 2012 from the force.

“Briggs displayed a handgun and ordered both employees to enter the turnpike office building,” Pennsylvania State Police said on Facebook. “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.”

Authorities say Briggs then fatally shot Crouse and Heist and began firing at the vehicle that a worker had just arrived in. The driver fled, and Briggs stole the vehicle and drove it to where his car was parked. He tried to unload the money from the truck to his car, but state troopers soon arrived. Police killed Briggs in a shootout.

“Today we lost two members of the Turnpike family and extended family in a hold-up attempt,” Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission Chairman Sean Logan  told reporters at a Sunday press conference.

Heist was also a former police officer who retired from the York City Police Department.

“He was a funny guy,” Heist’s sister told the York Daily Record. “He was always a happy, happy guy and joked about everything.”

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