A quick-thinking South Carolina woman shot and killed an inmate who broke into her house after escaping from a county jail, police said.
The escapee, Bruce McLaughlin Jr., 30, died from a gunshot wound to the head early Tuesday when the unidentified homeowner blasted him, Pickens County Sheriff Rick Clark said at a press conference Tuesday.
After busting into the woman’s home, McLaughlin Jr. — still wearing his orange jail jumpsuit — grabbed a knife-sharpening tool from the kitchen and headed toward the woman’s bedroom around 3 a.m., police said.
“This was a big guy,” Clark said. “If she hadn’t had a weapon, there’s no telling what would have happened.”
Clark praised the woman for her actions.
“I gave her a big hug. I told her how proud I was of her,” he said, noting that the woman was home alone and had a concealed weapons permit.
“She came out on the good on this end and the other guy, the bad guy, didn’t,” Clark said.
McLaughlin Jr., along with another inmate, Timothy Dill, beat up two guards during the premeditated escape plan, Clark said.
The inmates also stole the guards’ keys, locked them in a room and broke down a door, authorities said.
Dill was recaptured by police around the same time as his partner in crime was shot.
He was hit with a slew of new charges, including escape, two counts of kidnapping, first-degree assault and battery. Dill was awaiting trial on a charge of criminal sexual conduct with a minor.
As for McLaughlin Jr., he was awaiting trial on first-degree burglary and grand larceny charges, records show.