Weather Updates

Retired Chicago cop kills son after mistaking him for burglar: sources

Exterior apartment building where Michael Griff48 was shot earlyTuesday morning October 9 2012 | Scott Stewart~Sun-Times

Exterior of the apartment building where Michael Griffin, 48, was shot earlyTuesday morning, October 9, 2012 | Scott Stewart~Sun-Times

storyidforme: 38234809
tmspicid: 14040295
fileheaderid: 6450489
Article Extras
Story Image

Updated: November 11, 2012 6:16AM

A retired Chicago Police detective shot and killed his own son early Tuesday after mistaking him for a burglar trying to enter the father’s Far Northwest Side home, police sources said.

The sources described the shooting as an accidental tragedy.

Michael Griffin, 48, had been temporarily living with his father in a first-floor condominium in the 5300 block of North Delphia, the sources said. At some point either late Monday or early Tuesday, Griffin went out. When he returned home a little later, wearing a skull cap, the father thought his son was a burglar and then shot him, the sources said.

Police responded to the condominium around 12:45 a.m. and found him inside the residence, police said.

Catherine Matzaris, who lives in the unit across from the family, said the retired policeman had lived there alone for several years
and was a kind, friendly neighbor.

Matzaris said she was awakened early Tuesday, not by gunshots but by detectives knocking on her door.

Matzaris, 71, described her neighbor as a “nice” and “quiet” man, who liked to chat about his son and grandchild, who live out of state. Matzaris said she
last chatted with her
neighbor Saturday. “He was nice,” Matzaris said. “I
don’t see nothing wrong with him.”

Contributing; Frank Main

© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit To order a reprint of this article, click here.