SPARTANBURG, S.C. — A Spartanburg woman who shot a homeless man in the vacant house she was trying to sell won’t be charged because she was inside her property trying to defend her husband, authorities said.
The man who was shot in the house will face a felony charge of unlawful entry, according to a news release late Friday from Spartanburg police.
Officers said they consulted with prosecutors before deciding what to do.
“Obviously, you have a right to defend your property,” Solicitor Barry Barnette said.
A real estate agent found 31-year-old Gregory Wells inside the home Tuesday and called the homeowners. They went to the house, and as the man searched for his key, Wells met them at the door, investigators said.
The man asked Wells what he was doing in the house and pulled out his gun, telling the homeless man to back up or he would be shot, police said.
Instead, Wells grabbed the husband’s arm, and his wife then shot Wells in the face with her own gun, investigators said.
Police said the couple won’t be charged under a part of state law called the castle doctrine, which says, “It is proper for law-abiding citizens to protect themselves, their families and others from intruders and attackers without fear of prosecution or civil action for acting in defense of themselves and others.”
Wells is in good condition at the hospital and will be charged after he is released, police said.