Sheriff issues statement on shooting

Staff Report

Grayson County Sheriff Norman Chaffins, on Friday, Dec. 18, issued a statement regarding the fatal shooting of 66-year-old Christopher E. Higdon on Wednesday, Dec. 9

Chaffins’ statement reads as follows:

Dear Grayson County,

It would be an understatement to say that the Grayson County Sheriff’s Office has had an eventful 2015. It would also be an understatement to say that we are extremely grateful for the support we have received from the people we serve.

Although I will not go into the details of December 9th, I will tell you that the day did not end as all of my other days have in my 22 years in law enforcement. I will also tell you that as every other deputy, Trooper, or officer would tell you, I did not set out to hurt or kill anyone that day. I’ve played and continue to play the events of that day over and over in my head. What could I have done differently, I ask myself over and over, to have avoided taking another person’s life? The answer I come up with is that I reacted the way I was trained, and if there was any way that I could have ended it without someone dying, I would have certainly chosen that path. But, I reacted the way I would have even if I was a regular citizen. I felt in my heart that if I would have hesitated for a second longer that Lauren would be without her husband and my kids would be without their dad. After several unsuccessful attempts to tell him to drop the gun, I made the decision to make it home to my family and continue to serve as your Sheriff. Many lives were affected that day. Many hearts were broken. I will tell you that as a police officer, I did what I had to do to survive. As a man, I will tell you that it is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to deal with in my life. My heart is broken for the other family because they lost someone they love. My heart is broken for my wife and my family because they know I am hurting and struggling to come to grips with the events of that day. But I would like to ask that if you ever see my chief Deputy Corey Knochel, please thank him. Because one detail that I will share is that if it had not been for him that day I don’t believe I would be sitting here talking to you. You see, I did not see the man standing near the road pointing the gun because I was slowing down looking at the address on the mailboxes. Corey then warned me that he was standing next to the road in the driveway pointing a gun. If it had not been for that warning I would have pulled up right beside him and possibly been shot while sitting in my cruiser. In the coming weeks, I am sure additional details will be released on the shooting. However, further details of the shooting will have to come from the Kentucky State Police as it is an open investigation.

Over the past several days, my family, the Sheriff’s office, and I have received hundreds upon hundreds of messages, texts, posts, phone calls, cards and hugs offering positive thoughts and prayers. I cannot put into words how it has helped lift mine and my family’s spirits. I would ask that you not only continue to pray for me, the GCSO and my family, but the other family as well, as I am sure there will be many hard days ahead for us all.

Lauren and I are extremely grateful to serve such a great and caring community that supports us. We would like all of you to know that the love you have shown us only strengthens our resolve to be better Christians and better servants for our community. On behalf of the GCSO and my family, we would like to wish each of you a Merry Christmas and a joyous new year. Thank you for everything you have done for me and my family and the deputies at the Sheriff’s Office. I hope God blesses you and your family as He has me and mine.

Staff Report

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