Security guard fired fatal shot at Waffle House

AP

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A Waffle House security guard who feared for his safety fired the shot that killed 30-year-old Anthony Desean Warren at the business on Jan. 1, a court document says.

Columbia Police Department detective Steven Wilmoth wrote a probable cause statement in the case of Jaylon Freelon, who is charged with tampering with evidence related to the shooting, which happened after an altercation at the Waffle House at 904 Vandiver Drive. Wilmoth said he was able to identify the shooter using video surveillance footage.

Wilmoth said the episode began during an argument between a man identified in his statement only as L.H.B. and another man identified as Matthew McMillan. McMillan pulled a gun out of his pants and the other man tried to seize it to protect himself, Wilmoth wrote. Two shots were fired during the struggle for the control of the gun, and one of the bullets hit L.H.B. in the leg.

The security guard, identified in the statement as R.M., walked into the restaurant to intervene. He ordered McMillan and L.H.B. to drop the gun, and they did. Then, according to Wilmoth's statement, customers started to "encroach" on the security guard. Warren was among them.

The security guard felt threatened and fired a shot that hit Warren, according to the statement. Warren later died at a University Hospital.

Before police arrived at the Waffle House, Freelon allegedly took McMillan's gun out the backdoor of the restaurant and stashed in a grassy area, according to the video and eye witnesses cited in Wilmoth's statement. Police later found the gun.

Freelon was arrested on suspicion of tampering with evidence and remained in the Boone County Jail on Tuesday with a $100,000 cash-only bond. No charges had been filed against the security guard.

Wilmoth filed his statement on Friday but it was withheld from the public record at the request of Boone County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Knight until after the warrant for Freelon's arrest was served.

Supervising editor is Scott Swafford.

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