Correctional Officer Fred Sidney Griffis

Correctional Officer Fred Sidney Griffis

Florida Department of Corrections, Florida

End of Watch Wednesday, June 24, 1987

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Fred Sidney Griffis

Correctional Officer Fred Griffis was shot and killed during an escape attempt during a prisoner transport in West Palm Beach.

He and an armed escort officer were jumped by two armed suspects in front of a doctor's office on North Olive Avenue, near Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard. The men disarmed the armed officer and demanded that Officer Griffis hand over the keys to unlock the van and free the prisoner. Officer Griffis did not comply and instead tossed the keys away. When he tossed the keys the suspect shot and killed him.

Both suspects were apprehended after a chase in which they fired at pursuing officers.

The man who shot Officer Griffis was apprehended and sentenced to death. He died in prison on July 17th, 1999, from injuries he suffered while fighting guards who were attempting to search his cell. The other subject was also sentenced to death and was executed on June 12th, 2013.

Officer Griffis was a U.S. Army veteran who served three tours during the Vietnam War. He was decorated seven times for bravery, including four Bronze Stars and three Oak Leaf clusters, all given for heroism. An Army Ranger and expert rifleman, he was cited twice for saving the lives of fellow soldiers.

Officer Griffis had been assigned to the Glades Correctional Institution for three weeks after retiring from the military. He had previously worked at the facility for one year prior to his time in the military He was survived by his mother and sister.


  • Age 40
  • Tour 1 year
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Executed in 2013

escape attempt, transport

Most Recent Reflection

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Thank you for your service, both military and LE, and always know that your sacrifice is one that will never be forgotten. Rest in peace always.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

June 24, 2020

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