Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright held a press conference Tuesday morning to announce that the man accused of shooting and killing two burglary suspects Saturday will not face charges.
Wright spoke with the media to announce that solicitor Barry Barnette and his office had determined the shooter was protected under the law.
Deputies said on Saturday, the resident of an apartment at the Lees Crossing complex on Powell Mill Road told deputies he and his girlfriend saw two men near the window of their apartment.
The man then retrieved a gun from his car and went to confront the two men, according to investigators. Investigators were told by the resident when he confronted the men, they tried to hide behind the air conditioning units by the apartment, so in fear for his life, he fired shots at them.
According to the coroner, the burglary suspects, 22-year-old Michael Gentry-Hil Jr. and 18-year-old Darren Hill, both died from gunshot wounds to the head.
Wright consulted with the 7th Circuit Solicitor's Office in reviewing the evidence and the laws that apply to this case, and the decision was made not to bring charges against the resident.
Deputies said the shooter was protected under the Brayboy Ruling by the South Carolina Court of Appeals in 2010. Wright said even though the shooter was a convicted felon, the ruling allowed him to have a handgun to defend himself and protect his property.
Deputies said the apartment belonging to the resident and his girlfriend had been broken into three previous times.
During the press conference, Wright said he regrets two individuals lost their life in this incident and once again emphasized a firearm should only be used as a last resort. He said calling 911 and allowing trained law enforcement to handle situations whenever possible is preferred.
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Wednesday, May 22 2013 6:21 PM EDT2013-05-22 22:21:12 GMT
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