Shippensburg University students received the first SU Alert of the semester on Monday when a high-speed chase that began in Chambersburg roared near campus and ended in suicide near Shippensburg.
The chase began after a man Pennsylvania State Police identified as Dakin Burgess, 37, of Pittsburgh, robbed M&T Bank on Lincoln Way East in Guilford Township.
Pennsylvania State Police joined by Maryland State Police chased Burgess with police cars and helicopters on 997 and Interstate 81 North. Shippensburg University Police aided in the pursuit when it approached the university, creating road blocks.
An SU Alert sent around 5:40 p.m. read, “State & University Police in pursuit of a black minivan used in armed robbery near campus. Suspects armed & dangerous. Take precautions.”
Roughly 20 minutes later another alert came through announcing that the pursuit ended. An additional alert containing a clarification to the first alert stating the robbery did not occur near campus was also sent out.
The hunt initially ended when Burgess drove the getaway car into a cornfield near Shippensburg at Ott and Clouse roads. Because it got dark during the pursuit, the black minivan was easily camouflaged and presented Burgess with an opportunity to change clothes, according to Public Opinion reporter Becky Metrick, who live-tweeted the press conference held at 11 a.m. Tuesday.
The search for Burgess and his van continued and then a Pennsylvania State Trooper spotted Burgess and shot at him. The Sentinel reported that Burgess suffered a gunshot wound to his left leg from a state trooper.
Throughout the chase, state troopers received fire from Burgess. Two state troopers were shot. One took a bullet to the foot during a stop near mile marker 22 on I-81 and was in good condition after surgery and the other was hit in the shoulder and remains at Hershey Medical Center, according to a release from Cumberland County District Attorney David Freed.
Freed’s release also said the second trooper suffered his wound during a shootout near Roxbury and Metal roads.
Burgess crashed his car on Roxbury Road in Upper Mifflin Township after a patrol car smashed into it. Roughly one-tenth of a mile afterward, the car lost control and crashed into a tree. That is when officials believe Burgess shot himself, according to Freed’s release.
Upon searching the car, the exact amount of stolen money was recovered as well as evidence linking Burgess to a bomb threat at a preschool last week.
The events are still under investigation.
Although none of this transpired on the SU campus, students were told to take precautions and report any suspicious activity.