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VIDEO: Troopers Win Gunfight With New Mexico Fugitive On Side Of Illinois Interstate

Mount Vernon, IL – Illinois State Police (ISP) have released dashcam video of a fatal officer-involved shooting that occurred when a fugitive opened fire on troopers who had stopped to assist what they thought was a stranded motorist (video below).

The incident occurred at about 3:30 a.m. on May 9 on Interstate 64 near mile marker 72, KFVS reported.

Troopers stopped to assist what appeared to be a disabled vehicle and encountered 23-year-old Brandon L. Griffin of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and his wife, 31-year-old Christine Santos, WMIX reported.

Dashcam video of the incident showed Griffin and Santos gave troopers false names and dates of birth three times.

Troopers persisted and identified Griffin as being wanted on a nationwide felony warrant for weapons charges out of New Mexico, WMIX reported.

When troopers tried to take Griffin into custody, the suspect resisted arrest, dashcam video showed.

Then Santos tried to interfere in the arrest multiple times, even going into the front of the vehicle to search for bear spray to use on the officers at Griffin’s direction, the videos showed.

“Christine, stay out of the car,” one of the troopers told her.

“We have bear spray,” Griffin told his crying wife.

“Please let him go, please,” she sobbed, ignoring troopers’ instructions, and approaching the struggling trio. “Please, I’m begging you. Don’t do this.”

Troopers repeatedly told the woman to back up and she ignored them and continued to approach them from behind to attempt to insert herself, the video showed.

“We’re going to die,” Santos said. “We are going to die. They’re trying to kill us. They tried to kill us in there.”

Video showed a trooper called for backup at that point.

‘You’re going to have to bear spray me,” Griffin informed law enforcement in the video.

Then Santos tried to reach in the front seat of the vehicle yet again.

“Christine, get out of that car. Christine!” the trooper shouted.

Then he told the other trooper to “deal with her” just as Griffin started to really fight, the video showed.

“I was in the military. You’re gonna have to shoot me,” Griffin told them as he struggled, taking off his shirt to pull free at one point.

The video showed a trooper deployed his Taser on Griffin and the suspect briefly dropped to the ground yelling “ow!” but he continued to resist arrest and fought to get into the vehicle.

“Shoot me in the head,” he yelled at the troopers as he fought to free himself.

Video showed the trooper Tasered Griffin a second time as the suspect reached into the back of his vehicle and came out holding a handgun.

He turned and opened fire on the troopers, striking one of them.

Troopers returned fire and Griffin was fatally shot, KFVS reported.

The wounded hero was transported to the hospital for treatment of his wound and has since been released to recover at home.

The trooper has been placed on paid administrative leave while an investigation into the officer-involved shooting is conducted, as is protocol, KFVS reported.

The Jefferson County State’s Attorney’s Office is heading up the investigation.

Santos was arrested and held at the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) on a no-bond arrest warrant out of Lincoln County, New Mexico, for violating her bond on a pending aggravated assault with a firearm case.

Griffin was his wife’s co-defendant in that criminal case, KFVS reported.

The pair were arrested after they drove onto a man’s property and opened fire on him when he asked why they were there.

The incident caused a lockdown of area schools as a precaution.

Watch the incident unfold in the video below. WARNING – Graphic Content:

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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Written by Sandy Malone


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