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VIDEO: Troopers gunfight with fugitive on IL interstate

Police car lights (Wikimedia/Matty Ring)
May 16, 2023

Illinois State Police recently released dashcam video of a fatal officer-involved shooting involving a fugitive who fired on troopers while they were stopping to assist what they thought was a stranded motorist. The incident occurred at about 3:30 a.m. near mile marker 72 on Interstate 64 on May 9, according to KFVS.

While responding to a report that a vehicle was disabled, troopers encountered Brandon L. Griffin, 23, and his wife, Christine Santos, 31, of Albuquerque, New Mexico. According to dashcam video of the incident, Griffin and Santos gave troopers false names and dates of birth three times.

WMIX reported that troopers discovered Griffin was wanted out of New Mexico on a nationwide felony weapon warrant. Dashcam video shows Griffin resisting arrest when troopers attempted to arrest him.
After Griffin directed Santos to use bear spray on the officers, Santos attempted to interfere in the arrest multiple times, according to the videos. Despite repeated orders to back up, the woman ignored them and approached them from behind to insert herself, the video shows.

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At that point, the video shows a trooper calling for backup. Then Santos tried reaching into the front seat of the vehicle one more time. The video shows the trooper telling the other trooper to “deal with her” just as Griffin began fighting.

As Griffin came out of the back of his vehicle with a handgun, the trooper Tasered him a second time. One of the troopers was struck by his bullets after he turned and fired on them. According to KFVS, the troopers returned fire and fatally shot Griffin.

His wound was treated at a hospital and he has since been released to recover at home. During an investigation into the officer-involved shooting, the Illinois trooper has been placed on paid administrative leave, KFVS reported. Jefferson County State’s Attorney’s Office is investigating.

JCSO arrested Santos 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. He and his wife were both co-defendants in that case, according to KFVS. When a man asked why they were on his property, they opened fire on him and were arrested. As a precaution, area schools were locked down following the incident.

The dashcam footage showed the dangerous situations troopers face every day, and the decisions they need to make to keep themselves and the public safe. Right now, the investigation is still underway.