Ex-trooper who killed two in botched robbery had recent bankruptcy

A Pennsylvania Turnpike employee and a contracted security guard were shot dead by a retired state trooper with financial troubles who was allegedly staging a robbery before being killed in a gunfight with officials.

On Sunday, police said that retired state trooper Clarence Briggs shot and killed the two workers near the Fort Littleton toll plaza while trying to rob an armored car, the Associated Press reported at Philly.com. Court records showed that Briggs had filed for bankruptcy last year, having amassed over $300,000 in debt with his wife.

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Toll plaza Danny Crouse and Ronald Heist were shot by Briggs around 7 a.m. on Sunday, the Daily Mail reported. The pair was at the toll plaza at the Fort Littleton Interchange west of Harrisburg when the vehicle targeted by Briggs arrived.

Briggs managed to gain control of the armored car after shooting and killing Crouse and Heist, but he was confronted by a state trooper and shot dead as he was attempting to move money into his private vehicle not far from the toll plaza, the Daily Mail added.

Besides the debt and bankruptcy records, Briggs had also been charged with assault and harassment in March 2014, but the charges were dismissed four months later, according to the AP article reported by Philly.com.

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Trooper Jeff Petrucci told the Daily Mail that Briggs retired honorably in January 2012 from the Newville Turnpike police division where he had served for 26 years.