SC homeowner shot and killed man trying to steal his guns, deputies say

The home where the deadly shooting took place. WSPA photo

EASLEY, S.C. (WSPA/AP) – The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a deadly shooting on Prince Perry Road in Pickens County near Easley.

According to a report from the Sheriff’s Department, the owner of the home where the shooting took place came back around 8:12 a.m. Wednesday to find an unknown man in the house.

The homeowner caught the burglar stealing several guns, officials said.

Chief Deputy Creed Hashe said in a news release that the homeowner fought with 27-year-old Justin Smith and managed to get a rifle from him and fired several shots at the intruder.

Deputies say Smith tried to leave, but collapsed and died on a deck.

According to the report, no one else was inside the home when the incident took place.

Investigators say no criminal charges have been filed at this time.  The homeowner was not identified.

When the investigation is complete, the sheriff’s office says all information and evidence will be turned over to the Pickens County Solicitor’s Office for review to determine whether the homeowner was justified in the shooting.

— The Associated Press contributed to this report

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