CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Investigation into Rockville shooting incident continues

Oct 7, 2021, 6:18 PM | Updated: Dec 29, 2022, 12:06 pm
This is one of the vehicles that was hit by gunfire Wednesday that resulted in a active shooter sit...
This is one of the vehicles that was hit by gunfire Wednesday that resulted in a active shooter situation in Rockville. Photo credit: Ron Chaffin, St. George News.

ST. GEORGE, Utah — The investigation into Wednesday’s Rockville shooting incident continued into Thursday.

According to Washington County Sheriff’s Office, 55-year-old Shannon Alan Griffin brandished a handgun in front of man and his daughter following an argument in Hurricane.

After leaving the scene, Griffin was spotted by a Hurricane police officer. That officer initiated a traffic stop on Griffin. Once the vehicle came to a stop, however, Griffin refused to comply with the commands of the officers to exit the car. 

Griffin failed to comply with police

According to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, an officer attempted to physically remove Griffin from the car. However, that effort was unsuccessful, and Griffin sped away from the scene.

A pursuit of Griffin then began as he drove eastbound on SR-9 approaching Zion National Park. During the chase, Griffin fired at random vehicles as he passed through the communities of Hurricane, La Verkin and Virgin. He reached speeds of 100 mph and drove into oncoming traffic in an attempt to escape from authorities. In all, 10 vehicles had been shot at during the incident.

Close calls during Rockville shooting incident

During Thursday’s press conference, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office stressed there were some very “close calls” during the Rockville shooting incident. According to authorities, one bullet hole pierced the shirt of an individual who was targeted.

In an attempt to get Griffin to stop, Springdale police placed tire strips on the highway near milepost 25. According to officials, as Griffin drove by, at least one of the tires was punctured. An officer also used his weapon toward the suspect.

The chase continued into Rockville where Griffin stopped his car on the highway. As he exited the vehicle, he exchanged gunfire with a pair of Hurricane police officers before fleeing by foot into a residential neighborhood.

Searching a neighborhood

At this time, residents of the community were asked to shelter in place. Authorities from the federal, state and local levels along with the help of SWAT personnel converged on the town to search for Griffin.

Authorities found Griffin in the backyard of a residence at roughly 6:15 p.m. He had suffered a head injury from what authorities say was a self-inflicted gun-shot wound. 

He was transported by ambulance to a St. George hospital where he is listed in critical condition.

According to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, one member of the Springdale-Zion Canyon Police and two members of the Hurricane Police Department have been placed leave, pending an investigation of their actions in the incident.

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Investigation into Rockville shooting incident continues