YORK, Pa. — Hundreds of mourners attended a memorial service for a retired police officer fatally shot in a robbery attempt at a rural toll plaza on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
York city and police officials were among the 300 to 400 people attending the Saturday afternoon service for retired York Officer Ronald Heist held at the York Expo Center's Utz Arena.
Heist, 71, who worked for turnpike contractor Schaad Detective Agency, and toll collector Danny Crouse, 55, were killed March 20 at the Fort Littleton exchange about 60 miles west of Harrisburg. Clarence Briggs, 55, was then killed by troopers in an exchange of gunfire as he was loading bags of money into the trunk of his car. Briggs was a retired Pennsylvania state trooper.
Police officers in and out of uniform filed into the arena, including officers with police dogs. Heist was a former dog training officer. He also worked for the county parks department after retiring from the city police force in the 1990s, and several park rangers were also among those at the service.
After an invocation and prayer, music from a pipe and drum corps and speeches by several people, including a retired officer who was a close friend, officers were given a carnation to place at the front of the auditorium. An honor guard then presented a flag to the family.