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Sheriff’s deputy responding to home invasion shoots homeowner

  • Yellow crime tape blocked off a home

CHARLESTON, S.C. » A sheriff’s deputy responding to a home invasion shot the armed homeowner in the neck Thursday because he refused to drop his gun, authorities said.

Two deputies from the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office encountered the man at the rear of his mobile home in Hollywood, South Carolina, after two other men fled on bicycles, Sheriff’s Maj. Eric Watson said in a news release.

The man was either leaving or standing at the back door of the house and was armed, Watson said. One of the two deputies shot him after he refused to drop his gun, he said.

At some point, the man told police that he had exchanged gunfire with the two men who fled on bicycles. It was not clear whether either one of those men was injured. By Thursday afternoon, police had arrested one of them, identified as Thomas Zachary Brown, 22. Brown was charged with first-degree burglary and attempted murder in connection with the home invasion.

The homeowner was taken to the hospital and was undergoing surgery, Watson said. His condition was not known immediately.

Watson said the identities of the deputy and the shooting victim would be released on Friday. For now, he said the State Law Enforcement Division is investigating the shooting and the sheriff’s office will investigate the home invasion. He said the homeowner is black and the two deputies are white.

Hollywood is a small rural community of mobile homes and brick ranch homes about 15 miles west of Charleston. The man’s home is located down a dirt driveway behind two other homes.

Thursday’s shooting was the second in the past month involving law enforcement in Charleston County. On April 4, a white North Charleston police officer shot and killed a black man who he said fought with him over the officer’s stun gun.

Officer Michael Slager claimed that he killed Walter Scott in self-defense. But a bystander’s video showed him firing eight shots at the man’s back as he ran away. Slager has been charged with murder.

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