MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. (WJZY) – Christopher Gilmore spent just four hours behind bars before he was released, records show. Police say video shows him firing more than 50 rounds in a residential neighborhood with kids nearby, running for cover.
His bond was set at $16,000.
“That is unusual,” said the owner of In & Out Bail Bonds, Donna Jowers, who calls herself the ‘Bond Boss.’ “Honestly, it is unusual.”
The bond amount shocked some industry insiders. Still, Jowers says every defendant has the right to bond and the presumption of innocence under the Constitution.
“What if he’s innocent, you got me?” she said. “Everyone has the right to bond. Everyone is innocent until proven guilty.”
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police released doorbell camera video they said showed Gilmore and another gunman firing more than 50 rounds with children nearby. No one was injured but two homes and four vehicles were struck.
The incident happened last Saturday around 5:30 p.m. on Nations Drive in Steele Creek. Gilmore was charged with shooting into an occupied residence and property damage.
He was ordered to have no contact with the victims.
“When we see violent crimes, those are examples of situations where we want to see higher bonds,” said attorney and former CMPD officer Walter Bowers.
In 2019, Mecklenburg County reformed its bail policies by abolishing fixed amounts and giving judges more leeway.
“Certainly it appears that that was something that was a threat to the community,” said Bowers, “but for whatever reason, the magistrate decided the bond didn’t need to be any higher.”
Police are still looking for two other suspects.
“The charges were filed based on the probable cause that was established from the information and evidence gathered,” said CMPD spokesperson Rob Tufano, when asked why Gilmore wasn’t charged with attempted murder.
“The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department will continue to make protecting our community from violent crime a priority,” Tufano added, when asked to comment on Gilmore’s release.
Bowers says officers likely aren’t surprised. He says community members who are angry can contact the district attorney, who can petition the judge to revoke bond. The district attorney declined to comment.
“The community needs to stand up and say, ‘Explain to us why this individual is back on the street four hours after putting the lives of innocent children in danger?,’” said Bowers.
Gilmore is due back in court on June 29.