Man fires shot at deputy, prompts crisis response team response

By Joe Gorman


Police say a South Duck Creek Road man killed himself Tuesday after a Mahoning County deputy sheriff tried to serve him with a restraining order.

Sheriff Jerry Greene said the man was talking to the deputy about 11:10 a.m. in the driveway of his 10840 South Duck Creek Road home when the deputy mentioned that the man would have to turn over his weapons as part of the order.

The man then retreated inside and the deputy heard a shot, Greene said. The deputy then called for backup. The deputy never fired his weapon, Greene said.

Officers from several surrounding jurisdictions responded, and the Mahoning Valley Crisis Response Team was called.

“We were basically in a holding pattern,” Greene said.

Dr. Joseph Ohr, Mahoning County forensic pathologist, identified the man as Michael Griffin, 59, who listed the home as his address.

Neighbors on the rural road drove up to see what was going on, some of them still in their pajamas, as a steady stream of unmarked cars and cruisers arrived with members of the crisis response team, who suited up in body armor and assault rifles before heading toward the house.

Besides the team members arriving, neighbors also saw the county Emergency Management Agency command post, the Ohio State Highway Patrol Special Response Vehicle and The Bear, the armored vehicle used by the crisis response team.

About 2 p.m., when all of the law-enforcement pieces were in place, a robot belonging to the state patrol approached the home and detected someone inside lying on the floor. The robot then broke the glass and broadcast pictures of Griffin, who appeared to be dead.

Crisis response team members then entered the home and found the man dead.

Several times before the robot was sent in, an officer on a loudspeaker could be heard trying to get a response from the home, and two crisis response team negotiators also were called. Greene said the restraining order the deputy was serving was through the county domestic relations court.

Greene would not say how many weapons were in the home but there was more than one weapon, he said.

The sheriff also said he was glad the robot was able to be used.

“It’s a pretty awesome piece of machinery,” Greene said.

Greene said it was frustrating not getting a response from the home.

“You can’t tell if the gunshot was meant for the deputy or not,” Greene said.

Subscribe Today

Sign up for our email newsletter to receive daily news.

Want more? Click here to subscribe to either the Print or Digital Editions.