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Crime News

2 Dead In 'Planned Killing Spree' In Detroit

A man plotted a killing spree in the metro Detroit area. Here's what we know.

By Sowmya Krishnamurthy

A man plotted a "planned killing spree" in the metro area of Detroit. According to Fox 2, Vernest James Griffin allegedly killed two people on Thursday morning and planned to attack more at a string of local businesses.

Griffin first went into BSD Trucking, a local business in Taylor, at 10:30 a.m., with a semiautomatic weapon and started shooting there. One man was hit and killed. The identity of the victim not been released but it's said he was 60 years old and a part of the management. He was also apparently related to the owners of the business.

After this, the suspect then held his gun to a truck driver's head so that he could steal his semi truck. That would be his vehicle for the duration of the crimes. An hour later, the suspect went to another business, Aluminum Stamping, Inc., in nearby Pontiac and killed another man. That victim was identified as 58-year-old Eriberto Perez.

The spree of hitting local businesses was set to continue. The suspect then went to a third business in Waterford called Assured Trucking, and asked for someone by name before leaving. He got into his truck and that's when authorities were there. He shot at Waterford Police officers and then tried to flee but got into an accident with two "young ladies" at an intersection. They suffered non-threatening injuries.

Griffin then left the truck and gunfire between the suspect and authorities was exchanged. Eventually, Griffin was hit by gunfire and taken to the hospital. He is currently under police custody.

Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said that the suspect is expected to be fine following the shooting. No details on how many times he was shot have been reported. Bouchard noted that the shootings were part of a bigger shooting spree plot. This was "clearly, a planned killing spree," he said. Authorities found an AK-47 from the vehicle (seen above), as well as "multiple, multiple" rounds of magazines. "It was the 'Wild West' out there for a little bit," Bouchard said.

It appears that the suspect was a former employee at the first crime scene. He reportedly had a payroll dispute and previously threatened the person he shot with a gun in November. Authorities are not sure how the suspect is connected to the subsequent stops on his spree but they shared that more damage would have been done had Griffin not been stopped.

[Photo: Oakland County Sheriff's Office]