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According to a report from FOX Carolina, an altercation occurred on the front lawn of the Paris Mountain Castle in Greenville, SC, on Saturday morning. During the altercation, which took place around 9:15 a.m., the “homeowner” fired a shotgun at the torso of 32-year-old Matthew Whitman. Whitman died at the scene.
The address of the Paris Mountain Castle is 229 Altamont Road, Greenville, SC. According to the Greenville County Tax Appraiser, 229 Altamont Road is the home of Southern Tide Founder Allen Stephenson.
Dispatch said a man reported seeing a suspicious person in his yard around 9:15 a.m. Shots were then fired shortly after that.
Deputies said the homeowner fired at the suspect at least once and the suspect was dead when they arrived on scene.
The victim has been identified as 32-year-old Matthew Whitman of Greenville, according to a statement from the coroner’s office.
Whitman reportedly died from a shotgun wound to the torso.
The coroner said that Whitman was walking on the homeowner’s property when he was confronted, an altercation ensued and a gun was discharged.
Also according to FOX Carolina, the death has been ruled a homicide, but charges have not yet been filed.
It looks like this case will come down to the interpretation of South Carolina’s “Stand Your Ground” law, and the shooter’s account of the incident in proving he was protecting himself or others “from death or great bodily injury or to prevent the commission of a violent crime.”
South Carolina’s Protection of Persons and Property Act (“PPPA”), more commonly referred to as the “Stand Your Ground” law, is similar to other states regarding home invasions. This incident occurred on Stephenson’s front lawn, though, where the law also applies.
The protections of “Stand Your Ground” extend outside of a home and vehicle also. If you aren’t engaged in unlawful activity, and you are attacked, you can “stand your ground” and meet the attack with force, including deadly force, if you reasonably believe that your force is necessary to protect you or someone else from death or great bodily injury or to prevent the commission of a violent crime. You don’t have a duty to retreat.
Also of note, Stephenson is a member of the Kappa Alpha Order from the University of South Carolina.
We will update this story as details emerge..
UPDATE: Stephenson’s lawyer released a statement on the matter.
On Saturday morning, March 19, Allen Stephenson was attacked at his home by a man who he did not know.
After repeated requests by Mr. Stephenson, the individual, later identified as Mr. Whitman, would not leave. Instead, he became hostile, and attacked Mr. Stephenson with a knife. Mr. Stephenson had no alternative but to defend himself with his shotgun.
During the incident, a witness called the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office who promptly responded. Mr. Stephenson has cooperated fully with the authorities and will continue to do so.
At this time, we have no information on Mr. Whitman or his motives.
Mr. Stephenson appreciates the many calls of concern he has received, but would appreciate everyone respecting his privacy at this time.
[via FOX Carolina]
Image via Instagram/ @southerntide