PCSO: Homeowner killed intruder

EASLEY — A suspected intruder died after being shot by an Easley homeowner last week.

Pickens County coroner Kandy Kelley said Justin Smith, 27, of Cooperfield Avenue in Piedmont, was pronounced dead at Greenville Memorial Hospital on Wednesday morning.

Smith died of multiple gunshot wounds, Kelley said.

The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office has completed the investigation into the fatal shooting, the agency announced last week.

The shooting occurred at a home on Prince Perry Road in Easley.

According to news release from sheriff’s office chief deputy Creed Hashe, the homeowner returned to his home Wednesday morning and found a man, later identified as Smith, in the hallway as he exited the homeowner’s bedroom. Smith was armed with multiple guns taken from the bedroom, the release said.

A brief struggle ensued between the two men, according to Hashe.

The homeowner gained control of one of the weapons, a rifle, and fired multiple shots in the direction of the suspected intruder, the release said.

The man, struck by several rounds, fell onto the wooden deck as he exited the back door of the home, according to the release.

Hashe said crime scene technicians later found and recovered evidence indicating the back door of the home had been kicked in and numerous areas of the residence had been searched and rummaged through prior to the shooting.

Evidence corroborating the homeowner’s statements that the rounds were fired while both men were inside the residence was also collected, according to Hashe.

During the course of the investigation, the sheriff’s office recovered unrelated stolen property that linked Smith to a residential break-in that had been previously reported to the Easley Police Department, Hashe said.

Detectives from the sheriff’s office provided a presentation of the information, including evidence collected at the scene, to the 13th Circuit Solicitor’s Office Friday morning.

This is the first step in the process to reach a conclusion regarding the homeowner’s decision to use lethal force as it applies to SC law, according to Hashe.

Solicitor’s office personnel told detectives that absent additional questions or the need for further follow-up, they hoped to be able to render a decision within the next few days.