NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Editor’s Note: This story contains graphic images that may be disturbing.
Brandon Griffin, an Albuquerque man wanted for a shooting in southern New Mexico, got into a shootout with police in Illinois and was killed. The chaos unfolded Tuesday on the side of the freeway near Mount Vernon, Illinois. It started a few minutes earlier when a pair of Illinois state troopers stopped along Interstate 64 to help a couple in a broken-down SUV. Red flags were raised when the man and woman in the car gave false identities.
Finally, the trooper got the man’s real name, Brandon Griffin, and learned that he had a warrant out of Lincoln County, New Mexico. Griffin was accused of trespassing on private property and firing shots at the property owner. He then failed to show up to court. He was with his wife Christine Santos at the time, the same woman with him in Illinois.
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The scuffle began with the officers trying to get Griffin into cuffs and stopping his wife from getting back into the car. Officers then called for backup as they tried to get the couple under control. Griffin told officers that they were going to have to shoot him and managed to wriggle away from them. One of the officers tased him as he scrambled back to the car. They tried to tase him again but the situation escalated.
In the dash-cam video, Griffin can be seen opening fire, hitting and wounding the officer who hits the ground. His partner shot back as Griffin dove into the car where he was later found dead.
The officer who was hit was released from the hospital and is recovering at home. Santos remains locked up in Illinois. She was also wanted in connection to the New Mexico case.