Cleveland cop turned fugitive fatally shoots self after SWAT standoff

Published: Oct. 24, 2017 at 10:09 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 24, 2017 at 10:57 PM EDT
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SWAT on west side of Cleveland. (Source: WOIO)
SWAT on west side of Cleveland. (Source: WOIO)
Home surrounded in the area West 165th and Dartmouth. (Source: WOIO)
Home surrounded in the area West 165th and Dartmouth. (Source: WOIO)
Tommie Griffin III (Source: Parma Police)
Tommie Griffin III (Source: Parma Police)

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The medical examiner was called to the scene where former Cleveland Police Officer Tommie Griffin was hiding inside a house in the area of West 165th and Dartmouth.

Authorities said Griffin fatally shot himself in the chest in the basement with an AR-15 rifle.

Officers are unsure how Griffin obtained the assault rifle, but they plan on tracing the weapon to its original owner.

According to Cleveland Police Sgt. Jennifer Ciaccia:

"Cleveland SWAT responded to 3699 W. 165 on information from the USMS and Violent Crimes Task Force for wanted male Tommie Griffin. After a six-hour standoff, officers entered the home, heard a gunshot and found the suspect in the basement with a self inflicted gunshot wound."

He didn't leave a note or say anything prior to shooting himself.

Police also said he likely had help from one or more accomplices who drove him to a Motel 6 in North Ridgeville, then helped him move to the residence on West 165th Street.

Police didn't name who may have helped him, but they expected charges to follow.

Some of the police involved in the standoff had worked with Griffin.

As an early precaution, nearby school Newton D. Baker School of Arts was placed on lockdown.

The elementary school is near the home that Cleveland police and US Marshals had surrounded.

Griffin, who was indicted on charges of rape, kidnapping, felonious assault, domestic violence, tampering with evidence, possessing criminal tools, pandering obscenity and telecommunications harassment, cut off his GPS monitoring device over the weekend.

The 52-year-old was accused of the Jan. 14 assault and sexual assault of his girlfriend in Parma.

Griffin is 5-foot 11-inches and weighs 240 pounds.

His last known residence was at the 9700 block of Pleasant Lake Boulevard, Parma, Ohio.

He resigned from the police force on Feb. 27 and his trial is scheduled to begin on Oct. 30. He joined the force in 1994.

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