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Retired cop kills son

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012 9:57 a.m. CDT

(MCT) — A retired Chicago homicide detective fatally shot his son after apparently mistaking him for an intruder in his Northwest Side apartment early Tuesday, according to police and family.

Michael Griffin, 48, was found shot once in the head shortly after midnight in his father's home in the 5300 block of North Delphia Avenue, police said.

James Griffin, 77, was taken to Resurrection Hospital in Chicago after complaining of chest pains, relatives said. He had not been charged in connection with the shooting as of Tuesday evening.

Stephen Griffin said his brother had been watching TV with his father when both fell asleep. Michael Griffin awoke, went outside and apparently startled his father when he came back into the apartment, he said.

"They were watching television together and they fell asleep, and my brother went out of the house and my dad assumed he was home, sleeping,'' Stephen Griffin said.

Another brother called him late that night and told him "something happened at dad's house, that he shot an intruder," Stephen Griffin said.

"At that time (the brother) didn't know who he shot. Then he called me back and told me the bad news,'' said Griffin, whose mother died in 1999. "I'm just glad my mom wasn't around to see this.

Griffin was at a loss to explain what happened. While his father's senses "aren't as sharp as they used to be,'' he is in good physical health and played in a basketball league until recently, he said.

"He's in pretty good health except for some bumps and bruises from playing basketball," Griffin said. "I don't know if his age had a lot to do with it.

"It's a tragedy,'' said Griffin, 47. "I'm still in shock.

Michael Griffin had been kicked out of his apartment recently after losing a custodial job downtown and had moved in with his father just days ago, according to Stephen Griffin. were "close" and the elder Griffin was concerned about his son losing his job, he said.

"I'm still freaking out about it. I have two sons of my own and I can't image how he must feel,'' Griffin said of his father.

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