Created: Thu, 19 Sep 2013 10:14:00 EST
Updated: Fri, 20 Sep 2013 10:37:10 EST
A Laurens County man is dead, and another man is behind bars after a shooting Thursday morning near the Laurens County and Dodge County line.
The Laurens County Sheriff's office says 51-year-old Michael Whittle was found lying in his front yard with an apparent gunshot wound sometime after 6:21 a.m. Twenty-two-year-old Jesse Rowland was later arrested and charged with murder.
Whittle's son Thomas was at the home later Thursday. The property runs along Highway 126 just South of Chester. Thomas Whittle says Rowland was a family friend.
"It's hard knowing that somebody that your father considers a friend, is the same person that shot him and dumped him out in the yard dead, left him, if that's the way friends are I don't need none," Whittle said.
Whittle says Rowland and two woman were staying with his father. One of the woman called Whittle shortly after the shooting to tell him what happened.
"I pulled across the pond, got out of the car and I seen the sheet laying in the front yard by the front door with him under it," Whittle said.
Whittle says he was outraged to find out hours after the shooting that Rowland was still on the loose. He took it upon himself to track Rowland down, drive him off the road, and perform a citizen's arrest until deputies and state troopers could arrive.
Whittle says he is still unsure of what motivated the killing, but he believes it may have something to do with stolen guns.
"I know the investigators from Dodge county came to my daddy's house yesterday and questioned me about some guns supposedly that Jesse had stole or had knowledge of, and I told them what we knew, me and daddy cooperated with them, and told them that if anything was there that was stolen that they could have it back, that we didn't want no part of it," Whittle said.
The Laurens County Sheriff's Office says the investigation is ongoing and there is a possibility more arrests could be made.