An Indianapolis woman accidentally shot and killed her boyfriend while they tried to intervene in a pit bull attack on their neighbor’s dog.
Police call it a horrible mistake. An Indianapolis man shot and killed by his longtime girlfriend. The two were trying to help rescue their neighbor’s dog from a pit bull.
“It’s just a neighbor helping another neighbor,” said Valerie Yates, recounting what caused her neighbor and friend Roosevelt Griffin to get involved in an incident that would eventually lead to his death.
Though Indianapolis homicide detectives spent the afternoon investigating a fatal shooting outside this home a home in the 300 block of Eastern Avenue, it was a pit bull attack on a homeowner’s dog which prompted the original call to police. That call also went out to Roosevelt Griffin and his longtime girlfriend who live across the street.
“They just came to help (the homeowner) because her dog was being attacked,” Yates said.
Yates was asleep in her home when police said Griffin tried to intervene. Moments later his girlfriend of more than 10 years grabbed a gun. She told detectives she was trying to shoot the dog but tripped and shot Griffin instead.
“I heard one gunshot and then I just heard, you know, a bunch of crying and a bunch of hollering,” Yates said. “I just got up, put my house coat on and I came outside to see what I saw.”
That single shot struck Griffin in the head. He died a short time later.
“He would do anything for anybody around here,” said Marlin White, who grew up with Griffin and said he considers him more of a brother than a friend.
White also says he can’t blame Griffin’s girlfriend for trying to intervene.
“They’ve been together for a very long time,” White said. “The only thing she was trying to do was save the dog from eating him up.”
Neighbors said they blame the unknown owners of the pit bull. That dog is still on the loose. They said it’s one of several that have caused people like Yates to take matters into their own hands.
“My bat is for the dogs,” Yates said, grabbing a bat from behind her front door. “When (the dogs) chase the kids around in the neighborhood, it’d be good to have something close by to hit the dogs with, especially the pit bulls.”
Hours after the shooting, Yates said she simply wishes she had been the one to hear the call, so that a gun might not have been used at all.
“If they would have knocked on the door, I would have gotten up, and the only thing I could do was come out here to the door and gave (the bat) to her or went out there myself and hit it,” Yates said. “But a gun? No, not a gun.”
Neighbors said Roosevelt Griffin actually liked pit bulls and had two of his own. However, neighbors said he did not let them run free and his dogs were not involved in this attack.