911 tapes released: neighbor, friend detail Bluffton restaurateur’s murder

The 911 calls detail the October night Bluffton man and restaurateur Johnathan Cherol was shot to death at his home on 39 Pinecrest Way. Released Tuesday, there are two calls recorded. In the first call, a neighbor reports a 34-year-old man has been shot. Next came the call from Cherol’s unidentified friend. The friend had been outside with Cherol when he was shot.

Caller: “My friend’s been shot and killed.”

Dispatcher: “Okay, and you said he was shot?”

Caller: “Yeah, we were standing outside, and he got shot in front of me.”

The caller told the dispatcher he and Cherol were standing outside when shots came from the golf course in the back yard. The caller said he, Cherol, and Cherol’s roommate were the only ones at the house at the time, and that the roommate had been upstairs in bed. The caller ran inside to dial 9-1-1 when shots were fired, leaving Cherol outside.

Caller: “He got shot in the head, he’s dead.”

Dispatcher: “Okay.”

When asked if Cherol was still breathing, the caller described a graphic scene. He said he couldn’t see the shooter, because there were no lights on the golf course.

Dispatcher: “And no one saw anyone?”

Caller: “No, we were sitting out there. It was dark out there because there’s a driving range out back.”

Dispatcher: “Okay.”

Caller: “We heard a gun cock and two shots were fired.”

The caller then speaks to someone else in the background, in sounds too muffled to understand, before Bluffton Police arrive at the scene.

In a new release, Police said they found Cherol dead at the scene from a single gunshot wound. They believe Cherol had been targeted. The investigation continues. There have been no arrests made. Police have been patrolling Pinecrest more frequently.

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