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 (photo: Oakland County Sheriff’s Office)

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.

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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.

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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.

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No motive for the shootings has been released.