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SC woman fatally shoots home intruder who escaped from prison

A handgun. (Max Pixel/Free Use)
December 10, 2018

After escaping from a South Carolina prison and breaking into a woman’s home, a fugitive was fatally shot by a homeowner as he approached her bedroom with a weapon.

On Tuesday around 2:35 a.m., Bruce Webb McLaughlin Jr., 30, kicked in the rear door of the woman’s home and sought a metal device from her kitchen, then headed down the hall to her bedroom, according to The Washington Free Beacon.

The woman, who did not want to be identified, met the intruder and fired a shot to his head, killing him.

Pickens County Sheriff Rick Clark said, “The evidence at the scene confirms that the back door was kicked in and the escapee was near the homeowner’s bedroom door when he was shot. The evidence seems to suggest that the escapee had armed himself with a metal knife-sharpening tool. A pretty large sharpening tool.”

When police arrived on the scene around 3 a.m., deputies found McLaughlin in his orange prison jumpsuit, the New York Times reported

He was airlifted to a hospital where he was pronounced dead

Police concluded that the woman acted in self-defense and she has not been charged.

Clark said, “Our primary conclusion today is the homeowner is a victim of forced entry into her residence in the middle of the night by a convicted felon. He was an escapee from Pickens County Prison armed with an improvised weapon. The victim was trapped in her home and in her bedroom. The victim was in fear for her life and she used lethal force to protect herself. The sheriff’s office has not uncovered any evidence or any information in any way that would suggest anything different.”

McLaughlin and another inmate escaped from the Pickens County Prison after assaulting two detention officers in the process.

He had an extensive police history with numerous stints in the Pickens County jail since 2006. He was awaiting trial on first-degree burglary and grand larceny charges when he escaped.

“This was a big guy,” Clark said of McLaughlin. “If she hadn’t had a weapon, no telling what would’ve happened. But she stopped the crime. She solved the crime for us and she came out a winner.”

“The one thing I want to stress in this, especially for females, is get your  CWP [concealed weapons permit]. Be trained in your weapon. Shoot it often at the local range or where you can. This is the shining example of what this lady did, took the time to get her CWP and set herself up to be able to protect herself and not be harmed, killed or raped or whatever,” Clark continued.

Clark said it is very important that citizens get correct firearms training and arm themselves.

“If there’s no other thing we pull out of this today, I want to hammer that home. This lady saved her life because she took a half a day out of her life and went and got training. And when that training came through, she was calm [and] steady as somebody can be in that situation and saved her life and stopped the bad guy,” he said.

The other escaped inmate, Timothy Cleveland Dill, 32, was not at the home and was apprehended soon after his escape. He faces new charges including assault, escape, and kidnapping.