The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office has concluded the investigation into the deadly shooting of Henry Hugh Thomas (39yoa) on the evening of September 12, 2017, at 115 Walker St. in Easley.
Detectives have interviewed all known parties that were present on the night of the incident and reviewed the information learned from Sheriff’s detectives that were in attendance during the autopsy of the deceased.
The investigation revealed that Mr. Thomas entered the residence just before 8:00pm after he opened an unlocked but closed door and walked inside – unannounced and uninvited.
Upon entering, Thomas encountered the homeowner and four other adult guests inside the residence. The occupants immediately determined that Thomas was a stranger to everyone inside the residence and when questioned about his identity Thomas produced a .22 caliber semi-automatic handgun and proceeded to point it in the direction of the occupants.
Mr. Thomas discharged two rounds from the weapon in the direction of the guests at which time two of the men that were inside the home physically engaged Thomas. A struggle ensued and one of the occupants retrieved a .9mm handgun from a bedroom inside the home.
As the two men continued to struggle with Mr. Thomas, one of the guests identified as James Christopher Murphy fired two rounds from the .9mm handgun that struck Thomas causing injuries to his upper and lower torso.
Witnesses stated that when those rounds were fired, Thomas was still holding the weapon that he had brought to the scene and was still actively fighting the two men that were attempting to disarm him.
Mr. Thomas dropped his weapon after he was wounded and was held on the floor until authorities arrived. He later died from his injuries during surgery at a local hospital.
Detectives interviewed numerous individuals pursuant to this investigation and determined that Henry Thomas had no known previous interactions with any of the occupants that were inside the home on the night of the shooting.
There is no known information that Thomas had ever previously been to the residence and he was residing in Greenville County at the time of his death.
The weapon possessed and brought to the scene by Mr. Thomas was previously reported stolen in Anderson County in 2015.
A records check of the handgun obtained from inside the residence that fired the fatal shots indicated that the handgun is not reported as stolen and the homeowner has stated that it belongs to him.
The Sheriff’s Office has consulted with the 13th Circuit Solicitor’s Office regarding this investigation and all known information along with the evidence collected from the scene has been presented for a legal review and opinion.
Under the SC Protection of Persons and Property Act (SC Code Ann. 16-11-410 et. Seq.), sometimes commonly referred to as the “Castle Doctrine”, a person is immune from prosecution when certain elements or facts are present.
Based on the evidence collected at the scene, observations during the autopsy and the statements provided by witnesses, the use of force by a permitted guest against Mr. Thomas was justified absent any other unknown information.
The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office concurs with the opinion of the 13th Circuit Solicitor’s Office in that the supporting evidence indicates that Mr. Thomas unlawfully entered an occupied dwelling while armed with a handgun and subsequently fired two shots that placed the occupants in fear of their life and safety.
The use of force by one of the permitted guests in self-defense and in the defense of others appears to meet the provisions of SC law that grants immunity from prosecution.
No criminal charges are expected to be filed in this incident based on the known facts and supporting evidence collected during the investigation.
The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office continues to investigate the fatal shooting of Henry Hugh Thomas (39yoa) on the evening of September 12, 2017, at 115 Walker St. in Easley.
An autopsy was conducted on the deceased yesterday with detectives from the Sheriff’s Office in attendance. Examination of the body during the autopsy confirmed that Mr. Thomas was shot multiple times from what appears to be a .9mm caliber weapon.
Two handguns were recovered from the residence on the night of the investigation with one being a .9mm caliber.
Other occupants that were present inside the residence when the shooting occurred have stated that the deceased entered the residence uninvited and brandished a handgun. A physical confrontation ensued after the deceased allegedly fired two rounds in the direction of the occupants however no one was struck.
During a struggle between Thomas and the other occupants, the deceased was shot with a handgun that was allegedly retrieved from a bedroom inside the home.
Sheriff’s detectives have interviewed all parties and are continuing to investigate the circumstances of any event that may have occurred prior to the shooting.
No arrests have been made at this stage of the investigation and we expect to have the investigation completed within the next week at which time it will be turned over to the 13th Circuit Solicitor’s Office for their legal review.
The Sheriff’s Office is asking that anyone with information regarding this case to please call the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office at (864) 898-5500 or CrimeStoppers at 1-888-CRIMESC.
The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating the fatal shooting of an adult male that occurred late last night at 115 Walker St. in Easley.
The Sheriff’s Office received reports of a gunshot victim at approximately 9:00pm on Tuesday, September 12, 2017, at a residence located on Walker St.
Responding deputies arrived on the scene and found an adult male inside the home that had multiple injuries consistent with gunshot wounds. The man was transported to a local hospital where he died later during the night.
The identity of the deceased is unknown at this time and witnesses at the scene have stated that he does not live at the residence.
Information gathered during the preliminary phase of the investigation indicates that the unidentified male entered the residence uninvited while allegedly armed with a handgun.
A confrontation between the deceased and the other occupants inside the home resulted in multiple rounds being fired between at least two people to include the deceased. As many as five other adults were inside the location when the shooting occurred.
Detectives have continued to investigate the incident throughout the night and two handguns along with spent shell casings were recovered from inside the residence. No other injuries were sustained to any of the other parties inside the home.
No arrests have been made at this stage of the investigation and an autopsy will be conducted at the request of the Pickens County Coroner’s Office to determine the manner and cause of death.
An on-duty deputy with the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office was injured late last night just before 10:00pm after he stopped to offer assistance to the Easley Police Department on Hwy 123 near Ross Ave.
The deputy who was on routine patrol observed several Easley Police Department vehicles stopped in the median of Hwy 123 with their emergency equipment activated.
The deputy exited his marked patrol unit and walked across the highway to where the police officers were investigating and restraining a passenger from a vehicle originally involved in the Easley PD investigation.
Another civilian vehicle, unrelated to the Easley investigation, was also traveling on Hwy 123 when the driver of that vehicle left the roadway and struck several of the officers to include the Pickens County Deputy.
The deputy received minor injuries and was treated and released from a local hospital. The SCHP is investigating the incident.
Previous reports that the deputy was involved in a police pursuit with the Easley Police Department are unfounded.