Tommie Griffin III (seen above in a mugshot earlier this year) killed himself on Tuesday after a six-hour standoff with his former colleagues at Cleveland Police Department
A Cleveland cop turned fugitive ended a six-hour standoff with old colleagues by shooting himself in the chest with an AR-15 rifle, days before he was due to go on trial for raping his ex-girlfriend.
Tommie Griffin III, 52, committed suicide at 5.30pm on Tuesday inside a home in the Ohio city.
He had been inside for hours after being driven there by an accomplice from a Motel 6 where he had been staying nearby.
The accomplice, who has not been named, is now facing charges.
Griffin was due to go on trial for raping his ex-girlfriend on October 30 but cut his ankle monitor and went on the run on Saturday.
He was accused of pistol-whipping and sexually assaulting the 42-year-old woman in January after returning home to find her in bed with another man.
After cutting his ankle bracelet on Saturday, police described him as armed and dangerous.
Griffin, 52, was due to stand trial on October 30 for raping his ex-girlfriend in January. He is pictured before being released on bond in January
They tracked his movements from a Motel 6, where he stayed for two days, to the home on Saturday and tried to persuade him to come out safely for hours.
Two schools near the home went into lockdown as officers tried to coax him out of the property.
Between 11am and 5.30pm, the officers used a bullhorn to speak to him inside. He shot himself as they finally entered the property.
Some of the officers who found him dead inside had previously worked with the man.
Throughout the day, police said they feared Griffin would use the powerful assault rifle on innocent people.
They have not yet established where he obtained the weapon. Sixty firearms were confiscated from his home in January after his initial arrest.
‘That’s a powerful weapon that could have been used on any one of our guys. That was the worry we had all day– that he was going to take one of us out,’ U.S. Marshal Pete Elliot told News 5 after Griffin’s suicide on Tuesday.
The man’s former colleagues who found him inside were shaken by the chain of events, he added.
‘They’re taking it pretty hard right now.
Mr. Griffin put Cleveland police in a very, very bad position. It’s not the ending we wanted to see, but it is what it is,’ he said.
A SWAT team surrounded the property at 11am on Tuesday after Griffin was dropped off by an accomplice
Police tried to coax him out for hours by speaking to him using a bullhorn but were unsuccessful
Before going to the house where he killed himself, Griffin hid out in this Motel 6 for two days
Griffin was indicted in January for felonious assault, rape and kidnapping.
According to his indictment, he found his girlfriend in bed with another man in her home in the neighborhood of Parma on January 13.
His initial reaction was nonviolent; he called the police department where he worked and, when officers arrived, the other man explained that he had been invited to spend the weekend with the woman.
He left without incident and Griffin remained with his girlfriend.
The alleged attack took place the following day, she said. Griffin is said to have dressed up in full uniform to rape her, forcing himself on her as she slept.
The woman said he fired two shots from a gun into the mattress just inches away from her head then forced her to perform a sex act on him at gunpoint.
Griffin (above in two previous mug shots) was accused of raping his ex-girlfriend in January. She said he committed the attack in her bedroom while dressed in full uniform
She also claimed that he made her have a shower. She was later hospitalized with severe facial injuries, the result of being punched in the face by her then-boyfriend.
Griffin was a 22-year-old police veteran and recipient of a distinguished service medal in 2009.
He resigned from the force in March after being suspended without pay following his arrest.
At the time of his suicide, he was out on bail. His lawyer had successfully argued to reduce his minimum bond payment from $250,000 to $20,000 by convincing them he was not a flight risk.