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2 troopers shot during central Pa. pursuit; suspect from Pittsburgh dead

| Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013, 2:27 p.m.
Dakin Burgess, 37, of Pittsburgh robbed a bank in Chambersburg in Franklin County at about 5 p.m. Monday and fled in a black minivan.He shot and killed himself Monday after robbing a bank in Chambersburg, Franklin County and shooting and wounding two Pennsylvania State Police troopers.

Authorities are trying to figure out why a former Pittsburgh nurse robbed a Chambersburg bank in Franklin County, shot two state troopers and killed himself.

Dakin Burgess, 37, of Beechview shot himself in the head on Monday as he fled state police. The black minivan he drove crashed into a tree near Newville, Cumberland County.

“We don't know at this point what brought him to Chambersburg and then to Cumberland County,” said District Attorney David J. Freed, who expected investigators to interview Burgess' family in Pittsburgh.

Burgess worked at UPMC Presbyterian as a nurse but was fired once he admitted stealing morphine, Valium and other drugs and using them during cigarette breaks, according to state board of nursing documents and a hospital spokeswoman. He most recently worked at a video game store in Ross.

“I didn't realize that he had that potential,” said Dustin Cumer, the owner of Game On Party Planners, LLC, where Burgess worked for about 18 months. “He was a nice guy, and he got along with everybody.”

According to investigators, Burgess robbed a Chambersburg bank. As he fled police, he shot two state troopers, one in the foot and one in the shoulder, before shooting himself. Both troopers are recovering.

Burgess described himself as a “registered nurse by day, gamer by night” in his Twitter profile. He went to Cumer looking for a job nearly two years ago and Cumer met his wife and young daughter.

He called Burgess an “extremely good employee” who never caused problems. Burgess quit about five months ago, telling Cumer he was looking at homes in Tennessee, where he had obtained a nursing license. The Tennessee Department of Health showed no record of Burgess possessing a license.

More than a week ago, Burgess showed up at the store to play video games, Cumer said. He posed for a photo in front of a poster advertising Grand Theft Auto V, a photo Burgess posted to his Facebook page.

Cumer said Burgess drove a dark-colored vehicle that looked like a van when he stopped by Cumer's store. He told Cumer he had rented it, something Burgess often did, Cumer said.

“He did some weird stuff,” Cumer said. “I was a little suspicious. He just somehow miraculously ended up with money, but he would never say how he got it.”

Burgess' nursing license had been in flux for more than a decade, according to reports from the state board of nursing. UPMC investigated Burgess in December 2001 for stealing drugs.

Burgess later admitted to stealing and using the drugs, agreed to treatment and was placed on a probationary license. UPMC fired him. The state suspended his license indefinitely in April 2012 when he violated probation.

Aaron Aupperlee is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7986 or aaupperlee@tribweb.com.

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