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Officer-involved shooting in Roy deemed justified, police release video

(Screen grab of the dash-cam video, showing Aaron Griffin firing on a police car. Credit: Roy City Police Department, YouTube)

ROY – The Roy Police department released dramatic body and dash-cam video of a fatal officer-involved shooting from early August. One officer rammed his police car into a suspect after that man reportedly fired on police.

The video starts with an officer stopping a car in Roy after noticing the rear license plate was partially covered.  (Warning: Graphic language and content)

“Why have you got paper covering up your license plate?” the officer asked.  The driver, Aaron Griffin responded by saying he was playing a prank on his sister and didn’t want her to know his car was involved.

During this exchange, the officer speaks with Griffin’s passenger.  The officer asked, “Do you mind if I get your info, sir?” to which the man responded, “Mine?  Bryan James.”  Griffin and his passenger were then allowed to leave.

However, police say that was a fake name.  Investigators say the passenger was actually Brian Cregg, 49, from Ogden, who had warrants for his arrest.  The officer reportedly found Griffin’s car again, this time in Sunset.  As officers questioned Cregg about his real identity, the video shows Griffin speed away, but the car was tracked down to a field in Clinton.  Police dogs were used to track Griffin, who reportedly fired at one of them.

Roy Police Sergeant Matthew Gwynn says, “K9 Mick was hit one time in the face when Aaron shot at him.  He was immediately rushed to an animal ER, where he underwent emergency surgery.”

Two additional officers arrived on the scene, and police say Griffin fired at one of the cars, hitting it the driver’s side front windshield.

Gwynn says, “The second officer made a decision to try and stop Aaron by ramming him with his vehicle.”

The video shows the car makes clear contact with Griffin, but not before he was able to fire at the second vehicle.

“Aaron shot three times at the second officer, with one round hitting the driver’s side headlight and another round hitting the front license plate,” Gwynn says.

After being hit with the car, Gwynn says Griffin pointed his gun at the officers, who then fired their weapons.  Griffin died from his injuries.  The Roy Police Department issued a statement saying the Davis County Attorney’s Officer determined the shooting was justified.

A very different story just one day prior

Tragically, Griffin was being called a “hero” by first responders just 24 hours prior to this.  He and his friend, Parker Thorson, were being praised for pulling a woman to safety after her car rolled over her and caught fire.  Officials say they have no doubts the woman would have died without Griffin and Thorson, who just happened to witness the crash.

Griffin had reportedly become suicidal and had no desire to live, according to the Deseret News.  His friends told reporters he had recently relapsed on drugs and was ashamed of this.  One friend tells reporters he was hoping to commit “suicide by cop,” and even texted her saying, “I have no idea why this is taking so long.”

Thorson tells the Deseret News, “[Griffin] was a loving, caring guy. He had a big heart. If anyone was in need, he was there to help. He shouldn’t be judged for his final actions, but judged for all the good he did in his life and the people he helped.”

Anyone dealing with depression or suicidal thoughts is urged to call the Utah Crisis Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.