Patrolman Hugh Richard Griffin, Sr.

Patrolman Hugh Richard Griffin, Sr.

North Carolina Highway Patrol, North Carolina

End of Watch Sunday, September 14, 1975

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Hugh Richard Griffin, Sr.

Patrolman Hugh Griffin was shot and killed when he stopped a vehicle occupied by two men on N.C. 53 six miles east of Burgaw.

Unbeknownst to Patrolman Griffin, the car was stolen and the suspects had shot and killed a store owner in Wilmington six days earlier. Because of a registration problem with the car, Patrolman Griffin ordered the suspects to follow him to the Highway Patrol station. As he was walking back to his patrol car the driver shot him in the back.

The man who killed Patrolman Griffin was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder and sentenced to death. His sentence was later commuted to life in prison. He died in prison on March 9, 2020. The other suspect was convicted of accessory to murder, the murder of the store owner, and sentenced to life in prison plus 30 years.

Patrolman Griffin was a U.S Navy veteran of the Korean war and served with the North Carolina Highway Patrol for 21 years.


  • Age 45
  • Tour 21 years
  • Badge B-433
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; Pistol
  • Offender Died in prison in 2020

stolen vehicle, traffic stop

Most Recent Reflection

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I first met Trooper Griffin when I was a dispatcher for the Pender County Sheriff's Office. Many years later I joined the Patrol and was with the search party when Sweat and Williams were captured and arrested....Hugh was a kind man and never said some of the things he was accused of during the trial.

Retired L/Sgt and current Patrol Chaplain Gene Ennett

Patrol Chaplain Gene Ennett
North Carolina Highway Patrol

May 7, 2023

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