Deputies: No charges expected to be filed after armed man fatall - FOX Carolina 21

Deputies: No charges expected to be filed after armed man fatally shot in Easley home

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Scene of crime at residence on Walker Street. (9/26/17 FOX Carolina) Scene of crime at residence on Walker Street. (9/26/17 FOX Carolina)
EASLEY, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Pickens County Sheriff’s deputies expect no criminal charges to be filed after they say a man who unlawfully entered a residence was fatally by an occupant in that residence.

Deputies said they received word of a shooting at a home on Walker Street around 9 p.m. on Sept 12. They arrived to find a man suffering from what appeared to be multiple gunshot wounds, they said.

The man was taken to the hospital and later died in surgery. He was identified as 39-year-old Henry Hugh Thomas of Greenville.

Deputies said people at the home said the man did not live there. He reportedly entered the residence uninvited and was armed with a gun. A confrontation ensued and multiple shots were fired by someone in the house and the deceased, deputies said.

Deputies said two guns and spent shell casings were recovered from the house.

No one else was hurt.

An autopsy confirmed Thomas died after multiple shots from a 9 mm caliber weapon, which matched one of the guns found at the scene.

Chief Deputy Creed Hashe said the gun used in the fatal shooting was recovered from a bedroom in the home.

Deputies say further investigation of all parties present during the incident revealed that Thomas entered the residence just before 8 p.m. through an closed, yet unlocked door and walked  in – unannounced and uninvited. He then encountered the homeowner and four other adult guests inside the residence.

All occupants immediately identified Thomas as a stranger and questioned his identity as he produced a .22 caliber semi-automatic handgun and processed to point it in their direction, deputies said. He then discharged two rounds at the occupants, at which time two of the men in the residence physically engaged Thomas, they continued. One of the guests, later identified as James Christopher Murphy, then fired two rounds from the .9mm handgun that struck Thomas causing injuries to his upper and lower torso, deputies say.

Deputies confirm Thomas then dropped his weapon after he was wounded and was held on the floor until authorities arrived. He later died from his injuries during surgery at a local hospital.

Deputies determined Thomas had no prior interactions with any of the occupants in the home on the night of the shooting.

Deputies said Thomas' weapon was also previously reported stolen from Anderson County in 2015.

The Sheriff’s Office has consulted with the 13th Circuit Solicitor’s Office regarding this investigation and all known information along with the evidence collected from the scene has been presented for a legal review and opinion.  

Under the SC Protection of Persons and Property Act (SC Code Ann. 16-11-410 et. Seq.), sometimes commonly referred to as the “Castle Doctrine”, a person is immune from prosecution when certain elements or facts are present.  

Based on the evidence collected at the scene, observations during the autopsy and the statements provided by witnesses, the use of force by a permitted guest against Mr. Thomas was justified absent any other unknown information.  

The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office concurs with the opinion of the 13th Circuit Solicitor’s Office in that the supporting evidence indicates that Mr. Thomas unlawfully entered an occupied dwelling while armed with a handgun and subsequently fired two shots that placed the occupants in fear of their life and safety.  

The use of force by one of the permitted guests in self-defense and in the defense of others appears to meet the provisions of SC law that grants immunity from prosecution.  

Deputies say no criminal charges are expected to be filed in this incident based on the known facts and supporting evidence.

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