Crime & Courts

Boeing Whistleblower’s Death: Charleston Police Release 9-1-1 Call

“Is he moving?”

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

The Charleston, South Carolina Police Department (CPD) released the 9-1-1 call and computer-aided dispatch (CAD) report from the alleged suicide of Boeing whistleblower John Barnett this week. Barnett’s suspicious death on March 9, 2024 occurred at a critical moment for the aerospace giant – which is in the midst of a major corporate restructuring following fresh allegations of negligence involving its commercial jets.

Barnett was playing a pivotal role in exposing that negligence, but he was discovered dead outside of his Charleston, S.C. hotel after failing to appear for the final day of an extended deposition related to a whistleblower retaliation lawsuit in which he was involved.

“(We) kept calling this morning and his phone would go to voicemail,” his attorney, Brian Knowles told Corporate Crime Reporter. “We then asked the hotel to check on him.”

Barrett was staying at the Holiday Inn Riverview – which is located at 301 Savannah Highway just across the Ashley River from downtown Charleston. According the CAD report (.pdf) obtained by this website, hotel personnel called 9-1-1 at 10:13 a.m. EST after making a disturbing discovery.



“I just had a guest call in, or a gentleman call in wanting to do a wellness check on a room – we went up to the room (and) couldn’t locate him,” a female hotel employee told the dispatcher on the call.

Upon locating Barnett’s vehicle – a bright “Clemson orange Dodge Ram” – in the hotel parking lot, the 62-year-old Louisiana native was found behind the wheel “unconscious or asleep” with a firearm in his hand.

“The gentleman is in the drivers seat, um, I’m not sure if he’s unconscious or asleep but he has a firearm in his hand – and I don’t feel comfortable walking up to the vehicle,” the female employee told the dispatcher.

As the employee was relaying this information, she could be heard in the background discussing the situation with a co-worker who apparently made a suggestion she did not like.

“No, absolutely not,” she told the individual. “Not with a loaded gun – are you crazy?”

(Click to View)


“Is he awake?” the dispatcher asked the employee.

“No, he is not awake,” she responded.

“Is he breathing?” the dispatcher asked.

“I don’t know,” she replied.

“Is he moving at all?” the dispatcher asked.

“No,” she said.

According to the incident report (.pdf), officers arrived on the scene at 10:14 a.m. EST and “cautiously approached” the truck, finding Barnett unresponsive in the driver’s seat “with what appeared to be a silver handgun in his right hand resting on his lap, and his right pointer finger still remaining on the trigger.”

Officers used a “slim jim” lock-pick to gain access to the vehicle before removing the the gun from Barnett’s hand. After emergency medical services’ personnel determined Barnett was deceased, they began processing the crime scene. Barnett “had what appeared to be a gunshot wound near his right temple, and showed no signs of life.”

“Laying in plain view on the passenger seat was a white piece of paper that closely resembled a note,” the report added.

As of this writing, no details regarding the contents of the note have been released.

Barnett spent 28 years with Boeing at its Everett, Washington headquarters. In 2010, he was transferred to the company’s taxpayer-subsidized North Charleston facility – which manufactures the much-maligned 787 Dreamliner. He retired from the company in 2017, and shortly thereafter began exposing shoddy workmanship at Boeing – especially at its Palmetto State location.

Our media outlet referenced Barnett’s work in several previous articles about Boeing (see here and here). Count on us to keep our audience updated on the latest developments related to the investigation into Barnett’s death – and the issues he was so passionate about exposing at Boeing.





Jenn Wood (Provided)

Jenn Wood is FITSNews’ incomparable research director. She’s also the producer of the FITSFiles and Cheer Incorporated podcasts and leading expert on all things Murdaugh/ South Carolina justice. A former private investigator with a criminal justice degree, evildoers beware, Jenn Wood is far from your average journalist! A deep dive researcher with a passion for truth and a heart for victims, this mom of two is pretty much a superhero in FITSNews country. Did we mention she’s married to a rocket scientist? (Lucky guy!) Got a story idea or a tip for Jenn? Email her at



Got something you’d like to say in response to one of our articles? Or an issue you’d like to proactively address? We have an open microphone policy here at FITSNews! Submit your letter to the editor (or guest column) via email HERE. Got a tip for a story? CLICK HERE. Got a technical question or a glitch to report? CLICK HERE.


Get our newsletter by clicking here …


Related posts

Crime & Courts

Unsolved Carolinas: The Unexplained Death Of Geoff Hammond

Callie Lyons
Crime & Courts

North Charleston Police Chief Resigns

Crime & Courts

‘Absolutely Resign’: Councilwoman Threatens Police Officer During Service Call

Andrew Fancher


Look Hard At This March 28, 2024 at 11:55 am

Gun still in his hand, resting in his lap and finger in trigger guard is highly suspicious. Sounds very much staged.

MidstateA March 28, 2024 at 3:04 pm

Charleston PD is not exactly a department many are proud of. In some cases, whereas their detectives were mandated by policy to investigate reported crimes, they did not. In other cases, officers wrote reports but never investigated nor even spoke with the complainants who called in to Charleston consolidated dispatch.

MidstateA March 28, 2024 at 2:58 pm

No security video? Any vehicles with dash cams in the area at the time? Maybe even parked hotel guest with active dash cams?


Leave a Comment