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Retired State Trooper Named Suspected Gunman In Turnpike Attack

FORT LITTLETON, Pa. (AP/KDKA) - Authorities say a turnpike employee and another worker were shot and killed in a robbery attempt on the Pennsylvania Turnpike Sunday.

State police said the shooting occurred around 7 a.m. at the Fort Littleton Interchange in Fort Littleton, Pennsylvania, about 65 miles west of Harrisburg.

The suspect in the shooting was also killed. Authorities have identified retired Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Clarence D. Briggs as the suspected gunman.

The other people killed in the shooting have been identified as Turnpike employee Danny Crouse, 55, and fare collection vehicle security guard Ronald Heist, 71. Crouse had been on the job for less than three months.

According to a news release, Crouse and Heist were confronted by Briggs in the toll booth area. When he tried to tie them up, a struggle ensued and Briggs ran from the building.

As he fled, a fare collection vehicle arrived. This is when the gunman shot and killed Crouse and Heist and opened fire on the fare collection vehicle. The driver was able to run away.

Briggs stole the fare collection vehicle and was attempting to unload cash from inside it when troopers arrived and killed him.

Clarence Briggs worked for the PSP for 26 years before retiring in 2012. He worked for the  Newville station of Troop T in Cumberland County.

Turnpike chairman Sean Logan said commissioners and other officials were "deeply saddened by this horrific tragedy."

"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," Logan said.

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