Man Kills Foster Child, Shoots Social Worker, Police Say : Violence: Sacramento gunman, upset over losing his job, surrenders after three-hour standoff. Two other foster children are released unharmed.
A father upset over losing his job fatally shot one of his foster children and wounded a social worker before giving himself up, police said Saturday.
Douglas Griffith Jr. held authorities at bay for three hours Friday night while holding hostage his three foster children--a 16-year-old girl, a 2 1/2-year-old and an 18-month-old child.
The 16-year-old was killed during the standoff, police said. Griffith’s own two children, ages 4 and 6, escaped injury. The social worker, Fern Queen, was upgraded to stable condition Saturday at the UC Davis Medical Center.
According to police, Griffith had recently lost his job in the computer field and was distraught over not being able to provide for the foster children. He apparently called the social worker to say he could no longer care for them.
Queen and a second social worker, Rose Sypkens, were scheduled to meet at the home. Queen arrived first about 7:20 p.m. and found Griffith holding the 16-year-old at gunpoint with a .38-caliber handgun. He then shot the social worker three times, authorities said.
Griffith barricaded himself and the three foster children in a back bathroom while Queen ran to a neighbor’s home for help.
Sypkens, unaware of the situation, arrived at the home and was also confronted by Griffin. But she was able to escape with Griffith’s two children.
SWAT team members began surrounding the home when they heard shots inside, police said. A short time later, hostage negotiators convinced Griffith to surrender. The 16-year-old was found dead in a bedroom with a gunshot wound to the chest. The other two foster children were unharmed.