An inmate who'd escaped minutes earlier from a county jail in South Carolina was shot and killed by a woman after he kicked in her back door, the local sheriff said. The inmate was still in his orange jail jumpsuit and had grabbed a knife-sharpening tool from the woman's kitchen in Pickens as he headed toward her bedroom around 3am Tuesday, Pickens County Sheriff Rick Clark said, per the AP. The woman was home alone and had gone through training to get a concealed weapons permit, Clark added. "This was a big guy. If she hadn't had a weapon, there's no telling what would have happened," he noted. Bruce McLaughlin Jr., 30, died from a gunshot to the head, per the Pickens County coroner. McLaughlin and a second inmate, Timothy Dill, beat up two guards in an escape they'd planned for days, Clark said at a presser.
McLaughlin and Dill stole the guards' keys and locked them in a room, but inmates broke the door down and tried to help them, the sheriff said. The guards had bruises and one complained of a sore back, but they should recover, per Clark. Dill was recaptured by deputies without incident about the same time McLaughlin was shot, though the two were going in opposite directions, the sheriff said. Dill is charged with escape, kidnapping, first-degree assault and battery, and other charges. McLaughlin was awaiting trial on first-degree burglary and grand larceny charges, per sheriff's office records; Dill was awaiting trial on a criminal sexual conduct with a minor charge. Clark said he thinks the shooting is justified but will forward the case file to prosecutors once the probe is finished. "[The homeowner] came out on the good ... end and the other guy, the bad guy, didn't," Clark said. (Read more prison escape stories.)