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Clay Co. officer searches home of person of interest in deadly hunting accident

By: Mitchell Grogg, Tanner Hesterberg, Laura Beranek, Brandon Orr, Erika Glover Email
By: Mitchell Grogg, Tanner Hesterberg, Laura Beranek, Brandon Orr, Erika Glover Email
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FOGERTOWN, Ky. (WYMT)- Update 4/21/14, 11 p.m.

Clay County officers spent most of the afternoon looking for new clues to what led to the death of Brian Griffin.

Sheriff's deputies, police officers and members of the Department of Fish and Wildlife searched a home in the Fogertown Community of Clay County Monday around 1:30.

"We served a search warrant on an individual out there that we consider a person on interest," said Sheriff Kevin Johnson.

Johnson said officers said spent three to four hours getting evidence from the home.

"We got some physical evidence that we recovered from the scene," said Johnson. "It will be sent to KSP labs and some other labs for DNA analysis and things of that nature."

Johnson did not reveal the name of the person of interest.
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Update 4/19/14, 6 p.m.
We now know the funeral arrangements for a man killed in a hunting accident earlier this week. The funeral for Brian Griffin is set for this Monday at 1 p.m. at the Horse Creek Baptist Church.

His burial will follow at the Herd Cemetery in the Bar Creek community. Visitation for Griffin is set for tomorrow at 6 p.m. also at Horse Creek Baptist Church.

The family has requested in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the 1st National Bank of Manchester.

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Update 4/18/14, 6 p.m.

Investigators Friday released the 911 call made moments after a deadly hunting accident in Clay County.

A shotgun blast killed Brian Griffin, 28, and injured another hunter Thursday morning near the Fogertown community of Clay County.

Griffin left behind a wife and two children. He was a well-known basketball player at Clay County in the early 2000s.

The third member of the hunting party, Chad Bullock, 21, was not hurt and called 911.

"We was up here turkey hunting and somebody shot and hit my two buddies," Bullock told the dispatcher on the call.

The dispatcher responded, "Okay, so two of them have been shot?"

"Yea. Hurry, ma'am. They're in bad pain"

Later in the call, Bullock said, "I don't know if they could see us or not. I don't know if they was intentionally shooting or they shot at something or whatever."

The dispatcher then asked, "Where are they shot at?"

Bullock: "One passed out. One passed out. Hurry. Come on. I need help now."

Whoever fired the shot could face charges for running away and not coming forward, investigators said.

"At this point in the investigation, we honestly do believe that this individual was shooting at what he believed was a turkey," Clay County Sheriff Kevin Johnson said. "Obviously that wasn't the case."

The sheriff said his department did not have any suspects as of Friday afternoon, but deputies were going door-to-door looking for leads. They also returned to the scene of the shooting Friday to look for more clues.

Read WYMT's updates on this story below for more information.
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Update 4/18/14, 4 p.m.

Those who knew Clay County native Brian Griffin say he could be described as many things.

"Great husband and a great dad," said Clay County guidance counselor and Griffin's former teacher Christy Rice, "A great son and a great brother."

"Brian's always been so full of life and kind of bigger than life in a way," said one of Griffin's former basketball coaches Donnie Stevens.

"He is the person that everyone would want as their son," said Rice, "He is the person that everyone would want their daughter to marry. And his girls will know that he's the person that everyone would want for their dad."

Griffin leaves behind a wife and two young daughters.

"I just hope that his family can hold on to just the legacy of what Brian was," said Stevens, "Twenty eight years it doesn't hardly seem fair. I can't make sense of it."

Funeral arrangements for Griffin have not been set.
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Update 4/17/14, 11 p.m.

A former high school basketball star is dead and another man is in the hospital after a hunting accident in Clay County.

It happened near the Fogertown community around 7:30 a.m. Thursday.

Former Clay County hoops standout Brian Griffin, 28, died in the shooting.

"Brian Griffin was an incredible athlete," longtime Clay County radio announcer Earl Owens said. "He was phenomenal. He was a kid that could hit the three, create his shot ... had a great vertical leaping ability. Certainly one of my all time favorite Tiger basketball players."

Griffin played during the early 2000s.

Investigators do not suspect foul play and believe the shooting was accidental. They are looking for a fourth person who may have fired the weapon and ran away.

"There were three men hunting in a group," Sheriff Kevin Johnson said. "Two of the three men did receive wounds from a shotgun."

Clay County head coach Robert Marcum, who worked with Griffin and was friends with him, said Griffin was "your typical country boy."

"He loved to fish. He loved to hunt," Marcum said. "He loved to play sports. He was very competitive. Just a great guy and I'm gonna miss him. And this community and county are going to miss him."

Griffin leaves behind a wife and two children.

He ranks in the top 15 in scoring in the history of the WYMT Mountain Basketball Classic.

"I think Brian deserves to be remembered for his humbleness," Owens said. "He was a kid that could score 40 points on the ball court but walk off and be the same Brian Griffin. "He had that same smile ... that same friendly warmth that just exuded from him wherever he went."

As of Thursday night, the other hunter who was shot was in stable condition at UK Hospital.
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6:00 PM Update

A hunter is dead and another is injured after they were shot early this morning. The shooting happened in Clay County near the Fogertown community and is currently under investigation by multiple agencies.

Those agencies are the Kentucky State Police and the Department of Fish and Wildlife since this incident involved hunting. Clay County Sheriff’s deputies also assisted in the investigation earlier in the morning.

Investigators tell us they made a game plan before heading into the woods looking for clues. Clay County Sheriff Kevin Johnson told, “We’re still in the preliminary, just trying to figure out what exactly happened here, and why it happened, and we’ll get to the bottom of what happened here today.”

Investigators at this point say three men went hunting in these woods Thursday morning. An unknown man fired, hitting two of the men.
Lloyd Cochran with the Kentucky State Police said, “The third individual was not hit, and he was able to call 911.”

Paramedics airlifted the two men who were shot. One of those men, 28-year-old Brian Griffin died of his injuries. Police say they continue to look for the shooter from this morning’s incident, but as of now do not have any suspects or persons of interest
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Kentucky State Police officials tell us the man who survived this shooting is stable at the University of Kentucky Hospital.

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4:30 PM Update

An early morning hunting trip left one man dead and another hospitalized. Police say the incident happened in the woods behind me, they tell us 28-year-old Brian Griffin of Manchester died as a result of the shots fired here this morning.

It appears to be a hunting accident that happened in these woods after 7:00 this morning. Police say three men were turkey hunting in the area. A spokesman for Fish and Wildlife says two hunters crested a ridge and an unknown man shot them. Police are still looking for that man

The injuries those hunters suffered were both severe enough that paramedics airlifted them to the University of Kentucky Hospital in Lexington.

Clay County Sheriff Kevin Johnson told us, “We’re still in the preliminary, just trying to figure out exactly what happened here, and why it happened, and we’ll get to the bottom of what happened here today.”

Because this shooting did involve hunting Kentucky Fish and Wildlife officers are also assisting with this investigation. We will have more on this story later this evening.

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Officials with the Kentucky State Police have confirmed one of the men injured in the shooting, has now died.

Police say that Brian Griffin, 28 of Clay County, died following shooting.

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What police call a hunting accident led to two men being airlifted from Clay County early Thursday morning.

Three men were hunting in a group when two of them were shot by an unknown man, according to Clay County Sheriff Kevin Johnson.

The third man in that group called for help, Johnson said.

Kentucky State Police and Kentucky Fish and Wildlife officials continue to investigate in the woods where the accident happened.


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