AULT — Suspect Eric Griffin, 33, is being held on second-degree
murder after allegedly shooting his neighbor Richard Hammock, 48,
with a 12-gauge shotgun Sunday evening.
Richard Hammock had gone to question Griffin after discovering
that his dog had been shot with a pellet gun around 4 p.m. on
Sunday afternoon, according to Diane Hammock, wife of Richard
Diane Hammock said her husband suspected Griffin of shooting
their miniature pinscher because he had threatened their daughter
over Labor Day weekend concerning the dog. “He said, ‘If you don’t
take care of it, I will.'”
Diane Hammock said that she had never even met her neighbor,
“I waved at him a few times on the street, he never approached
us,” Diane Hammock said. “He had never said anything to my husband
or me about the dog.”
After calling the police to file a report concerning their dog’s
shooting, Diane Hammock saw that her husband had decided to
question Griffin on his own.
“My granddaughter came and told me that she had heard a gunshot
and then that there were police and fire trucks next door,” Diane
Hammock said. “I thought they had gotten into a fight.”
According to Ault Police Chief Tracey McCoy, Griffin’s
girlfriend was the first to call the police.
“He hasn’t been charged with anything yet,” McCoy said. “He is
being held on 2nd degree murder.”
Griffin’s business partner and longtime friend, David Enslie,
can’t believe that Griffin is a murder suspect.
“(Griffin) was a good guy,” Enslie said. “Everything out there
Enslie, who met Griffin years ago in a local coffee shop, had
been partners with Griffin in a jewelry business that was
apparently run out of Griffin’s home. According to Enslie it is
common for jewelers to own firearms for protection.
“It is a standard tool in the jewelry profession. Many jewelers
are proficient in firearms,” Enslie said. “It’s a security issue.
We’ve got to worry about being robbed and shot.”
According to Enslie, Griffin had no problem with Ault as a town
and did not know his neighbor.
“He moved there a little over a year ago, he really liked the
town and the people,” Enslie said. ” He didn’t know the guy.”
Confusion and loss seem to be surrounding both sides of the
“They had so many options,” Diane Hammock said. “I just don’t
Diane Hammock says her husband was shot without warning or
“They shot right through the door,” Diane Hammock said. “He was
just laying on the sidewalk.”
For Enslie it is difficult to believe that Griffin would shoot
without some substantial motivation.
“I know he would not do something like that unless he felt
threatened,” Enslie said. “I think when you look at it objectively
it seems like a case of self-defense.”
Funeral arrangements for Richard Hammock have not yet been