Gunshots rang out in a peaceful neighborhood in Angier, North Carolina, one morning in October 2012. This ended with Christian Griggs, a young father, being found riddled with bullets on the front porch of a house. The newest episode of Investigation Discovery’s ‘True Crime Story: It Couldn’t Happen Here’ focuses on the inquiry into Christian’s death and whether self-defense claims were warranted. So, if you’re curious about the same, we’ve got you covered.
How Did Christian Griggs Die?
Christian Griggs was described as a handsome and caring young man who made friends quickly. Born to Army parents, he moved around a lot before settling in Angier, North Carolina, with his family. There, he met and married Katie Chisenhall in January 2009, about a year after the two had their daughter, Jaden. Christian studied at the North Carolina State University before enlisting in the Army to care for his daughter, Jaden. He served for about three years before returning to the university for computer engineering.
At the time of the incident, Christian had been estranged from his wife, Katie, and the two had joint custody of Jaden. On October 12, 2013, the 23-year-old came by Katie’s house to pick up their daughter. However, after a flurry of activity, Christian’s father, Anthony AKA Tony, found his son face down on the front porch of Katie’s father’s house. He had been shot six times with a .22 caliber rifle: once in the left shoulder, once in the abdomen, and four times in his back.
Who Killed Christian Griggs?
While Christian and Katie’s marriage started well, things began to change over time. After about four years together and surviving a move to Georgia, the couple decided to go their separate ways in the spring of 2013. At the time, Christian got Jaden every alternate weekend, while Katie lived next door to her family in Angier. On the evening of October 11, 2013, Christian tried to pick Jaden up, but he argued with Katie instead. At the time, Katie told the police that Christian was angry about a “close friend” taking Jaden to the zoo, and as a result, had taken out the AC unit from a window at her house.
The following morning, Christian came by again, but nobody answered the door at Katie’s or her father’s home. He called his father, Tony, who urged him to leave and return later, but the 23-year-old was adamant about staying. Around that time, Katie and Pat had headed out to Raleigh, North Carolina, to get a restraining order against Christian. Pat later told the police they got home at around 10:30 am on October 12, but Christian arrived a few minutes later.
Pat, a pastor, stated that Christian demanded to see his wife and was angry and agitated. By then, Katie was inside the house. Despite not getting a restraining order in Raleigh that day, Pat reportedly lied to Christian about having one. Pat added, “And as soon as I said that, he just became enraged and jumped out of the car, and began to curse and threaten me and push me back. He didn’t strike me, but he – he pushed me, my shoulders back, and – and threatened me.”
Starting from 10:51 am, Katie and Pat made 911 calls. First, Katie reported that Christian was threatening her and her father, with the call ending two minutes later. In a second call at 10:58 am, Katie claimed that Christian had broken into the house. Just seconds before that, Pat called to report that Christian had been making threats. Then, about a minute later, Pat claimed to have shot his estranged son-in-law as he purportedly entered the house through a window.
At the time, Jaden wasn’t even at home, but evidence indicated Pat didn’t mention that to the dispatcher or Christian. The latter had called his father minutes before being shot and was lying on the porch. Tony came to find his son unresponsive and noted there was no broken glass anywhere. He said he only saw a window pushed in by a few inches and the blinds undisturbed. Upon being questioned, Pat stated he only remembered his front glass window breaking inward as Christian purportedly kept threatening but couldn’t recollect shooting him.
While Pat claimed to have shot Christian from inside the house, Christian’s family disagreed. A private investigator hired by them surmised that given the upward trajectory of the four bullets that hit Christian in the back, the shooter must have been on the porch when the shots were fired. In May 2015, the Associate Chief Medical Examiner, Dr. Lauren Scott, stated that Christian was either bending over or lying face down when the four shots hit him. According to Scott’s analysis, the position “is generally inconsistent with a claim of self-defense,” which was Pat’s side of the story.
Not just that, there were no bullet holes in the house, and only three shell casings were found. Also, as per the detectives, Christian’s fingerprints weren’t on the window or the window frame, and his body didn’t appear to have injuries like glass cutting him. However, the authorities believed Christian had turned while in the window after being hit in the shoulder and the abdomen, resulting in gunshot wounds in the back.
Where is Pat Chisenhall Today?
The authorities closed the investigation on October 12, 2013, satisfied that Pat Chisenhall shot Christian Griggs in self-defense. But Christian’s family refused to give up and wanted to hold Pat accountable. They filed a wrongful death suit against him in April 2015. In December 2018, he took the stand, repeating that he didn’t remember what happened that morning. Furthermore, Pat was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder since then.
The timing of the 911 calls also called into question the timeline of the events because, around the time Pat claimed to have shot Christian, Katie was on the phone with a 911 dispatcher just feet away. But the dispatcher never heard any gunshots. In 2018, a jury found that Pat didn’t fire in self-defense, awarding $250,000 in damages to Christian’s estate; the money would go to his daughter, Jaden. For now, it seems like Pat still lives in North Carolina and has maintained a low profile since the judgment. From what we can tell, he is still a pastor at Abundant Life Worship Center in Wake County, North Carolina.
Read More: Where is Katie Griggs Now?