PICKENS COUNTY, S.C. – Hours after he and another inmate escaped jail after beating up a security guard, a South Carolina escapee was fatally shot after he broke into a woman’s house, officials said.
The woman shot Bruce McLaughlin Jr., 30, in the head after he kicked in her back door on Tuesday, according to Pickens County authorities.
“This was a big guy. If she hadn’t had a weapon there’s no telling what would have happened. I gave her a big hug. I told her how proud I was of her.”
– Sheriff Rick Clark
After he entered the home, McLaughlin grabbed a knife-sharpening tool from the kitchen and headed toward the woman’s bedroom around 3 a.m. Sheriff Rick Clark said. The woman was home alone, said the sheriff. Yet she had undergone concealed weapons training at some point prior to the incident, reported Fox News.
“This was a big guy. If she hadn’t had a weapon there’s no telling what would have happened,” the sheriff said. “I gave her a big hug. I told her how proud I was of her.”
Clark said the incident was “a shining example” of why owning and knowing how to properly use a gun is important.
McLaughlin had been in and out of the county jail roughly a dozen times. Prior booking charges ranged from possession of narcotics to assaulting a police officer to shoplifting, officials said. The decedent was currently awaiting trial on first-degree burglary and grand larceny charges.
Moreover, another inmate, identified as Timothy Dill, also escaped from jail. The two men reportedly beat up two guards as part of their escape, which they planned for days.
The sheriff said that other inmates tried to help the guards as they were being attacked. As a result of their successful attack, McLaughlin and Dill stole the guards’ keys and locked them in a room. However, other inmates broke the door down in order to free them.
Hence, the guards suffered bruises and one complained of a sore back, but they’re expected to recover.
Consequently, Dill is charged with escape along with two counts of kidnapping, and first-degree assault and battery as well as other charges. He’s awaiting trial on a criminal sexual conduct with a minor charge.