Citizen holds stealing suspect at gunpoint

Wednesday, January 26, 2011 | 9:19 p.m. CST; updated 7:41 a.m. CST, Thursday, January 27, 2011
Wednesday evening, Michael Chambers, right, and neighbor Kenny Wood discuss the events of a vehicle break-in at Chambers' house. Chambers held the attempted-robbery suspect at gunpoint Tuesday morning until police arrived.

COLUMBIA — It was 1:45 Tuesday morning, and Michael Chambers knew his dog's persistent barking could mean only one thing. 

"Bruiser started barking profusely. Bruiser only barks when someone is outside," Chambers said.

Chambers, who lives on West Texas Avenue with his wife and four small children, said he looked outside to see what was causing the commotion. What he saw shocked him: The hatchback of his 1986 Chevrolet Corvette was open, and his toolbox was lying on the ground. 

Chambers looked around. He realized that someone had broken into the Corvette as well as his wife's Chrysler. He went back inside to grab his shoes and his 9 mm semi-automatic handgun. 

Chambers said that as he ran back outside with his gun in hand he saw a man sitting in the passenger's side seat of his other car, a 1992 Ford F-150 pickup. 

Chambers said he recently bought the pickup, thinking he would fix it up. The truck is old, and the inside doors are missing their handles, so the only way to get out of the truck is to roll the window down and open the door from the outside. 

"He sealed his fate because he could not get out of the door," Chambers said. 

He said that after surveying the situation, he walked over to the driver's side door, drew his gun and told the man not to move, or he would shoot. 

Chambers said he hollered for his wife to call the police and continued to keep the man at gunpoint until they arrived. Chambers credits his wife for acting quickly. 

"My adrenaline was on high alert," Chambers said, but he knew pulling the trigger would not be the correct response. "The last thing I needed to do at 1:30 in the morning was think with my emotions."

Chambers said he didn't expect publicity from his quick-thinking actions. "I wasn't going to be submissive," he said. "I wasn't scared if he had a gun. I just knew I had to be ready to do what I had to do."

Still, Chambers gives much of the credit to Bruiser. "He's the one we praise and not anyone else," he said. 

Columbia police arrested Shamakeith Taylor, 27, on suspicion of one count of felony stealing and one count of receiving stolen property. He was being held on $84,000 bond, Columbia Police Public Information Officer Jill Wieneke said.

Taylor also had a cell phone that was reported stolen from a car early Tuesday morning from the Waffle House on Vandiver Drive before the incident on West Texas Avenue, Wieneke said.

There was also a warrant for Taylor's arrest on a charge of second-degree robbery in Pettis County, Wieneke said.

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Mary Nguyen January 28, 2011 | 7:15 p.m.

What kind of dog is Bruiser?

(Report Comment)
Robin Duvall January 30, 2011 | 1:18 p.m.

Bruiser is a Mini Schnauser. FOR REAL!!! I know him personally.

(Report Comment)

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