No charges will be filed in the shooting death of David Hammer, 21, of Fort Mill, because the man who fired the shot feared he would be seriously harmed, according a news release from the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office.
Hammer was shot March 22 in the driveway of a home on Fort Mill Highway. The county coroner’s office confirmed at the time that Hammer died from single gunshot wound to the chest.
Douglas Jowers, 57, of Indian Land, was one of several other people on the scene and told officers that he shot Hammer in self-defense.
A female relative of Hammer’s was renting a mobile home owned by Jowers at the time of the shooting. Jowers saw an incident going on in the driveway and went to see what was happening. Hammer was “grossly intoxicated and angry,” and Jowers asked him to leave the property, according to the sheriff’s office.
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“Hammer then began approaching Jowers in an aggressive manner,” and Jowers was in a vulnerable condition because of recent surgery. Jowers also possessed a legally owned pistol. Believing Hammer would cause him death or injury, Jowers shot Hammer one time, according to the sheriff’s office.
Investigators from the sheriff’s office and 6th Circuit Solicitor Doug Barfield agreed not to press charges.
“It is unfortunate that this incident led to a loss of life and our condolences go to all parties involved in this tragic event,” Sheriff Barry Faile said in the news release. “Based on our code of laws a person who is on their own property has no duty to retreat and can legally stand their ground in the face of attack.
“That person can use force to defend themselves, including deadly force if it is believed necessary to prevent death or serious bodily injury. It is our opinion that given the current circumstances, a reasonable person in Jowers’ position would have feared death or serious bodily injury.”