Ault man killed Sunday

Nov 042003
Authors: Jesse McLain

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

seems one-sided.”

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





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