Murder suspect arraigned

Vernest James Griffin of Sterling Heights, 45, was charged with premeditated murder after two men were shot in Waterford last week.
Deputies assigned to the Independence Township substation were dispatched towards Waterford during the pursuit of Griffin, Feb. 1, who is accused of shooting and killing Keith Kitchen, 60, in Taylor, then shooting and wounding Eriberto Perez of Waterford Township, 58, at theAluminum Blanking Company, 360 W. Sheffield Avenue in Waterford Township.
While deputies were at the Sheffield Avenue scene, officers from the Waterford Township Police Department were dispatched to a business on Lessing Road near Independence Township on a report of a man entering the business armed with a long gun. The business went into lock down and the subject fled the scene in a stolen semitruck, with no reported injuries and no shots fired.
A Waterford Township police officer located and pursued the responsible during which the subject fired multiple rounds at the pursuing officer. The pursuit ended near the intersection of Dixie Highway and Frembes in Waterford Township, 11:32 a.m., Feb. 1, where the driver crashed.
The subject exited his vehicle armed with a long gun, an AK-47 variant, and engaged the Waterford Township officers. During that exchange, Griffin was struck by gunfire and taken into custody.
The Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team was activated to respond and officers from the Auburn Hills Police Department (AHPD) and Waterford Township Police also responded to assist.
The Sheriff’s Operations Center further advised the responsible involved matched an earlier BOL that had been broadcast by the Taylor Police Department for a subject wanted in connection of a homicide in their city approximately an hour prior.
The Sheriff’s Office Forensic Laboratory was notified to respond to the Sheffield address and the scene of Waterford Township’s arrest at Dixie Highway and Frembes.
Griffin was listed in critical, but stable condition and is expected to recover. Judge Cynthia Walker of the 50th District Court arraigned the suspect at 4:05 p.m., Feb. 5, at his hospital bed.
Charges include one count of Homicide, Murder First Degree, Premeditated, Life Felony; and one count of Possession of a Firearm in the Commission of a Felony, two-year felony. Bond was denied.