No charges filed after W. Columbia homeowner kills intruder

By Logan Smith - email | bio

WEST COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) – Police say no charges will be filed after a West Columbia homeowner shot and killed an intruder early Monday morning.

West Columbia Police Chief Dennis Tyndall said the shooting happened around 3:15am on Morningside Drive when the homeowner, Richard Williams, allegedly saw a man breaking into his truck behind the house.

Tyndall said Williams went to his garage and as the door opened, he saw the man a short distance away on a bicycle. Williams fired his gun twice, hitting the man.

Police said the intruder went a short distance on the bicycle before collapsing in the street. The Lexington County Coroner pronounced the man dead at the scene.

Police identified the victim as Mark Edward Howard, 44, of Williamsburg, Ohio. Police say Howard was believed to be homeless.

Tyndall said West Columbia police met with the Lexington County Solicitor's Office Wednesday afternoon and determined no charges will be filed against Williams. However, Tyndall did say police don't want to send the message "that you can just shoot anybody in your yard for any reason, because that's not the case."

Copyright 2011 WIS. All rights reserved.