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Dramatic 911 call details man holding suspected burglar at gunpoint

Homeowner Matt Fillmore snapped a cellphone photo of himself holding a burglary suspect at...
Homeowner Matt Fillmore snapped a cellphone photo of himself holding a burglary suspect at gunpoint (Source: Matt Fillmore)
Published: Mar. 21, 2019 at 6:46 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A dramatic 911 phone call details the moments someone allegedly broke into a man’s house and the owner held him at gunpoint last Tuesday.

“Breaking and entering, I just got a man at gunpoint," 911 caller and homeowner Mathew Fillmore said. “I’m holding him at gunpoint. Call the police right away, send them over.”

During the call, Fillmore threatened the man several times if he moved.

“Don’t ******* move," Fillmore shouted. "Shut the **** up, don’t say nothing! Shut the **** up, I’ll kill you! Shut the **** up. Shut up! I said shut the **** up!”

The suspect, John Whitaker, was charged with second degree burglary and posted his $70,000 bond. Whitaker used to be a City of Charleston employee who worked for the Stormwater Department.

“He’s got blue pants on,” Fillmore said. “He’s with the Charleston City Stormwater Crew. He’s got a blue shirt, neon-yellow long shirt.”

A spokesperson from the City of Charleston said Whitaker’s employment was terminated when he was booked in jail.

Several times during the 911 call, Fillmore warned Whitaker not to move as he laid on the ground.

“The person came in while I was inside,” Fillmore said to the 911 operator. “I pulled my gun on him, told him to freeze. I don’t intend on shooting him unless he tries to attack me or run away.”

Fillmore said he had never pointed a gun at anyone before last Tuesday, but he wanted to make sure the suspect was held accountable for his actions.

“I rushed around with my firearm, grabbed it with both hands, took a stance and confronted him,” Fillmore said. “I said freeze, and I pointed it right at him.”

Whitaker was an employee with the City of Charleston, but he also had a criminal history.

A spokesperson from the City of Charleston and Charleston Police Chief Luther Reynolds said Whitaker was employed by the city through the Turning Leaf program. Turning Leaf is a program that helps people who used to be in prison.

Fillmore said now he has concerns about who else the city is employing, but Chief Reynolds said the program is very successful and this was just an unfortunate case.

Fillmore is also frustrated because he did not hear more from the city after this happened.

“Just talk to me,” Fillmore said. “Just hold them accountable. Let me know what you’re trying to do. Give me and my neighbors some peace of mind that our neighborhood is safe.”

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