By Associated Press - Thursday, December 15, 2016

EASLEY, S.C. (AP) - Sheriff’s deputies are investigating whether a man shot to death outside a Pickens County home was killed after breaking in.

Pickens County Coroner Kandy Kelley says 27-year-old Justin Smith died from multiple gunshot wounds.

Multiple media reports say that sheriff’s deputies were told Smith was shot by a man who returned home early Wednesday to find a burglar. Law officers say the 25-year-old homeowner told them he struggled with Smith, was able to wrestle away a gun and fired several shots at him.

Deputies said Smith was hit by several bullets in the house and fell onto a back deck when he tried to get away.

Deputies said the solicitor’s office will decide if the killing was justified.

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