Woman Shoots, Kills Escaped Inmate Who Kicked Down Her Back Door

Bruce McLaughlin Jr. was pronounced dead that night at a local hospital. (Photo: Pickens County, S.C., Sheriff’s Office)

A South Carolina woman used her home defense firearm to shoot and kill a man who had escaped from a nearby prison less than thirty minutes before the incident, local law enforcement announced earlier this week.

Pickens County, SC, Sheriff Rick Clark praised the woman for her quick action and noted that she could have been killed if she hadn’t been able to access her weapon.

“This is the shining example of what this lady did, took the time to get her [concealed weapons permit] and set herself up to be able to protect herself and not be harmed, killed or raped or whatever,” Clark said at a news conference.

“This was a big guy,” Clark continued. “If she didn’t have a weapon, there’s no telling what would have happened. But she stopped the crime. She solved the crime and came out a winner.”

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The incident began when two inmates at Pickens County Prison–Timothy Cleveland Dill and Bruce Webb McLaughlin Jr.—escaped by assaulting two guards and stealing their keys. Clark said the men had likely been planning the escape for weeks.

The men split up after they breached the fence. A deputy spotted Dill less than a half-mile from the prison and he was taken into custody without incident.

McLaughlin made his way to a nearby home, where a woman was sleeping alone. The inmate kicked in her back door and armed himself with a foot-long knife sharpening tool he found in her kitchen.

Clark said his office received a 911 call from the homeowner at 2:59 a.m. She said a man had broken into her home, and she had shot him.

Deputies found McLaughlin outside the woman’s bedroom door with a single gunshot wound in his head. He was flown to a local hospital and later pronounced dead. Only twenty-nine minutes had passed since McLaughlin escaped.

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Clark said the woman will not face charges.

“The victim was in fear for her life and she used lethal force to protect herself,” he said. “The sheriff’s office has not uncovered any information or evidence that would in any way suggest anything different.”

Dill had been charged with criminal sexual conduct with a minor, local media reports. After Tuesday’s incident, he is being charged with two counts of kidnapping, two counts of assault and battery, malicious damage to a jail, and strong-armed robbery for taking an officer’s keys and escaping.

McLaughlin was in prison on charges of first-degree burglary and grand larceny. His criminal record includes convictions on a weapon charge in 2006, an assault on a police officer while resisting arrest in 2007 and drug charges.

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About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over four years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco. Follow him on Instagram @bornforgoodluck and email him at jordan@gunsamerica.com.

{ 15 comments… add one }
  • Click Bang April 26, 2020, 4:28 pm

    Fantastic Job and the perfect reason for gun ownership…. Nice head shot….

  • Ray September 20, 2019, 6:26 am

    2 men for each inmate? So at the prisons I worked at there were between 1600 and 2600 inmates. Are you actually suggesting 3200 to 7800 guards per shift?

  • Hondo December 13, 2018, 9:53 pm

    Nice job , also saving the taxpayers money on this criminal.

  • MASTERMECH48 December 8, 2018, 8:38 pm

    Obvious fault in prison system in that they had no 2 man rule when with prisoners.

  • Mr. Sparkles December 8, 2018, 2:53 pm

    In NJ, MA, NY, CA, etc she would have been criticized, arrested and likely convicted for not waiting the 30-90 minutes it would have taken the police to arrive.

    Kudos to her for her quick thinking and straight shooting, local law enforcement for handling the incident properly and the state for recognizing the right and need for personal self protection.

    • Stuart Buncher August 18, 2019, 10:33 am

      When seconds count the police are only minutes away. Dial 911 and die. A 9mm bullet is faster than a police care. The police always get there in time to do the investigation.

  • Peter Brown December 7, 2018, 4:44 pm

    Had the room temperature mcLaughlin jr made his way to the people’s republic of kalif he would have reached a victim-rich area.
    Don’t look for this story on fake news; they’re whittle tummies get sick when faced with the truth.

  • Gerald mahle December 7, 2018, 1:05 pm

    Bad Penguin is right. Not only that, several storeowners repeatedly victimized by burglars were charged with murder or other crimes crime after traps they had set killed or injured thieves. It seems our courts and lawmakers are more interested in protecting lawbrwakers than citizens. Shame.

  • Bob December 7, 2018, 8:48 am

    I would love to meet this woman!! How amazing that she was able to maintain her composure after most likely having been awakened from sleep to encounter this low-life in her home and kill him while not being harmed herself. She is awesome!!!

  • Bad Penguin December 7, 2018, 8:42 am

    I used to live in New Jersey and if this had happened there she would have spent the rest of her life in jail for shooting this guy.

  • Link Lackluster December 7, 2018, 8:20 am

    Thanks for the feel good story for the week.

  • Bob December 7, 2018, 8:09 am

    Good for her but, who cleans that mess up?

    • Link Lackluster December 7, 2018, 8:20 am

      She does. They take away the body. She cleans up the puddles, splash, and chunks. Unpleasant in one way, quite satisfying in another.

  • BRIAN W December 7, 2018, 8:09 am

    Looks like trash day came early (and was taken out) that week in SC. Great job!!! and great story with a very happy ending!

    Kudos to the person that acted appropriately in cleansing the gene pool!!

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