Home News Man with a broken-down car fires at Troopers trying to help him

Man with a broken-down car fires at Troopers trying to help him


Mike Koziatek
Belleville News-Democrat

Illinois State Police released dashboard video Friday that shows an exchange of gunfire between police and a New Mexico man who died in the shooting on Interstate 64 in Jefferson County Tuesday.

Brandon L. Griffin, 23, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, died from his injuries, state police said.

A trooper injured in the shooting was treated at a hospital and is now recovering at home. His name was not released.

The shooting occurred after a trooper had stopped to assist a motorist with a broken down vehicle near Milepost 72 at about 3:30 a.m.

“During a record check, the male subject was discovered to have a valid nationwide arrest warrant for felony weapons charges,” a caption of the video states.

The video shows a man later identified as Griffin struggling with two state troopers. During the altercation, a Taser is used on Griffin, who is able to make his way to the front seat of his car.

As Griffin exits the car, one of the troopers shouted, “He’s got a gun! He’s got a gun!”

Then there’s an exchange of gunfire that leaves Griffin dead and one trooper injured.

During the struggle before the shots were fired, Griffin stated: “I was in the military, you’re going to have to shoot me. I’m not (expletive) going.”

The police video is put in slow motion at one point to show the muzzle flash from Griffin’s handgun.

Griffin’s wife, 31-year-old Christine J. Santos, was present during the altercation between the troopers and Griffin, police said.

Before the shooting, one of the troopers asked Santos to step back from the struggle.

“We’re going to die,” Santos says while Griffin struggles with the troopers.

“No, you’re not,” one trooper says.

“We are going to die,” she says again.

Santos “is currently being held at the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office on a no-bond arrest warrant out of New Mexico for bond violations on a pending aggravated assault with a firearm case in which Griffin was her co-defendant,” the news release states.

The four-minute, 52-second police video was posted on YouTube. It warns of “graphic images and language.”

Illinois State Police said the video was released as part of the agency’s “commitment to integrity and public transparency.”

This story was originally published May 12, 2023, 3:01 PM.


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