PONTIAC (WWJ) – A Sterling Heights man accused of killing two men at trucking businesses in Taylor and Pontiac has been charged with murder.
Vernest Griffin, 45, was arraigned by a 50th District Court judge in his hospital bed on Monday, according to the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office. He was shot several times during a gun battle with Waterford police after crashing a truck during a chase down Dixie Highway last Thursday.
Just having allegedly shot Keith Allen Kitchen, 60, in Taylor, Griffin is accused of shooting 58-year-old manager Eriberto Perez at Aluminum Blanking in Pontiac.
Sheriff Mike Bouchard said Griffin knew exactly what he was doing, walking up to a sliding glass door that was open and shooting Perez in the back with an AK-47 as he sat at his desk.
Following the Pontiac shooting, police said Griffin headed to a third business, Assured Carriers in Waterford, where he sought but could not locate a third potential victim.
Investigators believe the victims were specifically targeted; Bouchard calling the shootings, “a planned killing spree.” [Read more about the case here].
In Pontiac, Griffin is charged with first degree premeditated murder, a life felony, as well as a felony firearms charge. Charges are spending in the Taylor case.
No motive for the shootings has been released.