A homeowner in South Carolina fought off three would-be intruders who were attempting to break into his home around 9:30 am on Tuesday.
“There were three people [the homeowner] had caught and he believed were breaking in,” said JT Foster with the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office. “One of the suspects made a move towards him and he felt threatened, so he fired at least one time striking one of the suspects.”
The homeowner declined to be identified, but he gave an anonymous message to anyone else who might try to break into his home.
“Bums and thieves who come on my property to steal, if I have to defend myself, if I have to disable your vehicle, if I have to disable you, I’ll do it,” he said. “Stay off my property.”
The suspects, who police have identified as Shawn D. Breter, 52, Danielle N. Shockley, 32, Danny L. Smith, 51, were attempting to gain entrance to the home located in a treed and semi-rural neighborhood in northwest South Carolina. When the homeowner discovered the trio, he shot one of the men at least once, and the other two suspects ran away. Officials haven’t said yet which of the men was shot and which escaped.
The fleeing suspects prompted an hours-long manhunt involving K-nine units and multiple officers.
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“It’s absolutely one of the most difficult tasks around,” said Foster while discussing the hardships that come with tracking in heavily wooded areas. “Not only are you worried about being attacked by someone you may find in the woods but you gotta watch your step for poisonous plants and snakes.”
Officers soon captured Shockley but weren’t able to arrest the other man until later that afternoon.
All three suspects are in custody and all three are being charged with 3rd Degree Burglary, according to Fox Carolina. Officials haven’t described the condition of the suspect who was shot, and haven’t indicated whether the homeowner will be charged. South Carolina is a castle doctrine state.
The three suspects each have criminal histories, according to publicly available records. Breter was charged with trafficking in meth and cocaine in September and distribution of meth in March. He was also caught shoplifting in February, and has previous charges related to drugs and giving false information to law enforcement.
Shockley was convicted of several charges in 2015 related to shoplifting and drug possession.
Smith’s rap sheet is the most extensive. He has charges dating back to the 1990’s, but his most serious recent charges include 3rd degree assault and battery in 2015, possession of meth or cocaine in 2016, and larceny and trespassing in 2019.
Most burglaries happen in the morning and early afternoon, according to home security company ADT.
“Rather than being guarded by night, most burglars choose the daytime to attempt a break-in, targeting homes when they believe no one will be present,” the company says.
In this case, the homeowner was home – and he was ready.