GREENE TOWNSHIP, CLINTON COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A man is dead after troopers opened fire when they say he attempted to flee, hitting several vehicles with his 18-wheeler.
The officer involved shooting happened around 4:30 a.m. at a rest stop in Greene Township along Interstate 80 East. Witnesses were startled by dozens of gunshots and say it was nothing they’ve ever experienced before.
What started as a robbery turned into a police barricade and then ended with gunfire. One witness was in the restroom when it happened and came out to a swarm of police officers.
“I thought there was an accident out here. So I thought the gunfire was part of the accident and when I came out, I seen a lot of flashers, a lot of lights over here,” witness Patrick Johns said.
The male suspect, who has not been identified, allegedly committed a robbery in Clinton County and Lamar state police tracked him down to the rest stop in Greene Township. The suspect barricaded himself inside his tractor-trailer and after ignoring several commands, tried to flee the scene, striking three police vehicles and a nearby truck.
“The truck that I believe was attempting to run away, ran into the back of my truck,” witness Less Tucker said.
Tucker was traveling from Cleveland to Northumberland County and decided stop at the rest area for a good night’s sleep. He was inside his vehicle during the crash, but was fortunate to make it out alive.
“As the incident moved toward me, of course I ducked back down and once the truck hit my truck, I kind of bounced around a little bit, smacked my head on the window. When there were more gunshots, I jumped out of the vehicle and got away as he tried to push through my truck,” Tucker said.
Witnesses recall hearing dozens of shots fired. The suspect was killed by police and multiple troopers sustained minor injuries. One witness says this was unlike anything she’s ever experienced.
“I just started driving semi, so this is probably the more serious thing that I’ve seen,” witness Rebecca Johns said.
The rest stop was reopened earlier Tuesday afternoon. All involved officers are on administrative leave and the investigation is ongoing.