Decorated Cleveland Police Officer-Turned-Fugitive Commits Suicide After 6-hour Standoff

Tommie Griffin II appears in court earlier this year. (via ABC13)
Tommie Griffin II appears in court earlier this year. (via ABC13)

A SWAT team surrounded a house on the west side of Cleveland at 11 a.m. Tuesday.

Inside was Tommie Griffin III, 52, a former police officer who once worked with several members of the SWAT team. Griffin had spent 22 years as a decorated member of the Cleveland Police Department, until he allegedly pistol-whipped and raped his girlfriend in January, which led to his arrest and subsequent resignation from the force.

He’d spent the past several months under house arrest. Then on Saturday, he cut off his GPS ankle monitor, prompting a manhunt by the U.S. Marshals Service that eventually brought the SWAT team to the house in the Kamm’s Corners neighborhood.

For six hours, police shouted over a bullhorn in a desperate attempt to contact Griffin, Cleveland.com reported. Two nearby schools went on lockdown. Eventually, the SWAT team entered the house.

But it was futile.

Griffin, hiding in the basement, held an AR-15 rifle to his chest and pulled the trigger. The SWAT team found his body. He didn’t leave a note.

“It’s a tragedy, a tragedy for the division of police family and for his family,” Daniel Fay, 1st District Commander, told Fox 8 Cleveland. “We wanted him to come out peacefully and have his day in court, period.”

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SOURCE: Travis M. Andrews 
The Washington Post