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South Carolina woman fatally shoots escaped inmate who broke into her home

The woman found the armed inmate outside her bedroom door.

A South Carolina woman shot and killed an escaped inmate after he broke into her home Tuesday, authorities said.

The woman was home alone early Tuesday morning when Bruce Webb McLaughlin Jr., 30, kicked in her back door, according to a release from the Pickens County Sheriff's office. The escaped inmate was armed with a 12-inch knife-sharpening tool that he got from the woman's kitchen and wearing his prison clothes, the sheriff's office said.

Bruce McLaughlin Jr., left, and Timothy Dill
From left, Bruce McLaughlin Jr. and Timothy Dill.Pickens County Sheriff's Office via AP

When the woman found McLaughlin outside her bedroom door, she shot him once in the head, according to the release. The woman, who was not injured, called police to report she had shot an intruder, and McLaughlin was flown to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The homeowner was licensed to own a gun, and there is no indication the woman acted criminally in any way, according to the sheriff's office.


McLaughlin escaped Pickens County Prison with another inmate, Timothy Cleveland Dill, 32, Tuesday morning. The two inmates assaulted two detention officers, locked them in a room, and escaped the facility by climbing over a fence, according to the sheriff's office.

The escape "was pre-meditated and had been planned for several days and possibly for weeks," the sheriff's office said. Other inmates tried to help the male and female detention officers, who were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.

The female guard has more than 16 years of experience at the facility, and the male guard has more than nine, according to the sheriff's office. The prison has 76 inmates, all of whom are male.

Dill was recaptured shortly after the escape. He was charged Tuesday with kidnapping, assault, robbery and escape, according to prison records. He was being held on charges of sexual conduct with a minor.

McLaughlin had a criminal record dating back to 2006, but was most recently booked on burglary and grand larceny charges.