PONTIAC, Mich. — A man faces murder charges in two southeastern Michigan counties in connection with fatal shootings at two Detroit-area businesses.
Vernest Griffin was charged Tuesday with first-degree murder, carjacking, armed robbery and using a firearm during a felony in the death of Keith Kitchen in Taylor, the Wayne County prosecutor’s office said.
Griffin was arraigned Monday at a hospital on first-degree murder and gun charges in the second slaying in Oakland County’s Pontiac.
Kitchen, 60, was shot to death Thursday morning at BSD Linehaul, a trucking business southwest of Detroit in Taylor where authorities said Griffin worked until losing his job in November.
One of the company’s semi-trailer cabs was taken at gunpoint and driven about 30 miles (48 kilometers) north to Pontiac where Eriberto Perez, 58, was fatally wounded at an aluminum stamping firm about an hour after Kitchen was killed.
From Pontiac, Griffin drove to another trucking firm in nearby Waterford Township, but left when he could not find a person he was seeking, police said.
Griffin, 45, of Sterling Heights, was wounded during a shootout with officers in Waterford Township. Police recovered an AK-47 assault rifle and more than 200 rounds of ammunition, said Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard, who last week described the shootings as a “planned killing spree.”