ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — James Griffin III was shot and killed in July. His alleged killer was arrested, but his father says multiple people known to be at the scene need to be held accountable.
“I don’t want my child to be just another Black child killed in the streets, he was a person,” said his dad and namesake, James Griffin Jr. “You’re letting accomplices to his murder just walk around, you’re content to just have one person in jail when it was four people that did it.”
One other person was shot and injured at the scene of his death, and two were taken in for questioning, according to police.
Griffin’s son went by J.J. He was a William Fleming High School graduate, an athlete, a musician, and was completing a degree in Sports Medicine. He was just 22 when he was killed.
“He was my birthday present,” said Griffin. “I was 40 years old when we decided to have him. His birthday’s November 23, I’m November 24.”
“He used to wiggle his toes when he ate, I could always tell he was happy,” he went on. “He grew into a very loving young man, had an infectious smile.”
Griffin says his son had a future. He’d never been on a plane but he wanted to travel; he had a serious girlfriend he visited often; he’d just bought himself a car and he had a job at the airport.
The night before his death, Griffin says they were listening to music on a sound system J.J. had bought for him.
“He was set up, from the evidence I’ve seen, he was set up over something stupid,” said Griffin.
He feels detectives did their job, and now he wants to see the courts follow through.
“I feel like more can be done on the court side,” he said. “I understand there’s red tape to everything and I understand there’s statutes and liberties and blah blah blah, but you took a life, and you knew what you were doing, and you were an accessory to that and you’re walking free?”
“My thing is they didn’t give my child a timeline of when we’re gonna come and kill you, so they shouldn’t have had a timeline for when I come and arrest you,” referring to a court hearing in which Griffin says people who were allegedly involved were told when they’d be served a warrant.
He worries that dangerous people are still out in public and most of all, he wants justice for J.J.
“I think I’ve been in his room three times since this happened,” he said. “It still smells like him, looks like him. I miss him every day.”