• Sheriff: SC woman shoots, kills escaped inmate who kicked in her door

    By: Michelle Ewing, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

    Updated:

    PICKENS, S.C. - A South Carolina woman shot and killed an escaped inmate early Tuesday after he kicked in a door to her Pickens home, authorities said.

    According to The Associated Press, Bruce McLaughlin Jr., 30, broke into the home through the back door about 3 a.m., and, armed with a knife sharpener from the woman's kitchen, walked toward her bedroom, the Pickens County Sheriff's Office said. 

    The woman, who was the only person home, shot McLaughlin in the head, killing him, authorities said. She had previous gun training and a concealed weapons permit, the AP reported.

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    “This was a big guy. If she hadn’t had a weapon, there’s no telling what would have happened,” Sheriff Ron Clark said, according to the AP. "I gave her a big hug. I told her how proud I was of her."

    McLaughlin and fellow inmate Timothy Dill had escaped from the Pickens County jail about 2:30 a.m. Tuesday after attacking two prison guards, authorities said.

    Dill was recaptured by deputies without incident about the same time McLaughlin was shot, but the two were going in opposite directions, the sheriff said.

    The guards had bruises and one complained of a sore back, but they should recover, Clark said.

    Inmates tried to help the guards while they were attacked, Clark said.

    McLaughlin and Dill stole the guards' keys and locked them in a room, but inmates also broke the door down, the sheriff said.

    Dill, who had been charged with criminal sexual conduct with a minor, was captured and now faces kidnapping, assault and battery charges, the AP reported. McLaughlin had been awaiting trail on burglary and grand larceny charges, authorities said.

    Clark said the shooting is still under investigation, but he believes the woman's actions were justified, the AP reported.

    The sheriff said the homeowner was shaken by the shooting and asked him to help her maintain her privacy. He did not release her name.

    "This is the shining example" of why owning and knowing how to use a gun is important, the sheriff said.

    "She came out on the good on this end and the other guy, the bad guy, didn't," Clark said.

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