Charleston County sheriff’s deputies say their search for justice in the 2011 West Ashley shooting of 5-year-old Allison Griffor was “severely damaged” because of the lies a 25-year-old North Charleston man told years ago.
Shyrome Jaquane Johnson was arrested Thursday at his home on Mosstree Road and charged with one count of obstruction of justice. He is being held in the Charleston County jail and is expected to appear at 2 p.m. Friday for a bond hearing.
He is currently uncooperative with law enforcement, according to Maj. Eric Watson.
The front door of the Griffors’ home on Pierpont Avenue was kicked in at about 1 a.m. on Oct. 25, 2011. As Allison’s father, William, walked toward the door, the intruder fired a shotgun into the house, according to authorities.
Several pellets went through the door and a wall into the room where Allison slept. She was hit in the head in the room she shared with her two brothers. She died two days later at Medical University Hospital.
According to an arrest affidavit, Johnson is accused of hindering detectives’ investigation by providing them with false information about her death.
Johnson was located in a vehicle near the Griffors’ residence the same day and around the same time as the attack, which is believed by authorities to have been intended for different victims.
On Nov. 9, 2011, the affidavit states, Johnson was developed as a possible suspect or witness in the case and was interviewed. At the time, he allegedly denied having any knowledge of the shooting or home invasion. Johnson was not publicly named as a possible suspect in the case in 2013.
On July 17, he was arrested by the North Charleston Police Department on an unrelated charge and ultimately named several people who approached the Griffor home just before he heard a gunshot ring out. He added that he ran from the vehicle involved after hearing the shot but was picked up soon after by the named individuals and was with them during the initial traffic stop after the home invasion.
Maj. Eric Watson said the delay in Johnson’s arrest after he provided information last summer was “normal” and allowed detectives to vet his story. He added that the investigation is still ongoing and detectives are trying to develop more probable cause to arrest the suspects responsible for killing Allison.
“Since day one, we felt as though we knew who was involved,” he said, adding that many were in jail on unrelated charges but may have since been release. He did not identify the suspects.
There are no forthcoming arrests as of yet, he added.
Watson said he hadn’t personally talked to Allison’s family, but that he was “quite sure they’re somewhat elated while at the same time, sad,” over the news of Johnson’s arrest. He said detectives were in touch with them.
Allison’s father, William Griffor, suffered minor injuries in the shooting. He and his wife, Jennifer, took their two surviving children back to their home state of Michigan shortly after the attack.
Detective Mitch Wilson said in November that the family was still grieving and still lived in fear after what happened.
Watson said that he hopes Johnson’s arrest will reignite interest in the case and encourage anyone else with information to come forward.
Reach Melissa Boughton at 937-5594 or at Twitter.com/mboughton.