Of The Post and Courier staff 3/29/2000

A Line Street woman opened fire Tuesday night on some men she discovered had broken into her home, injuring one man and possibly another, Charleston police said.

One of several shots the woman fired at about 7:30 p.m. injured one burglary suspect who fell to the floor. A second suspect apparently was also injured but managed to run from the scene, police said.

\"She struck one, possibly two,\" police Col. Ned Hethington said. He said a trail of blood leading from the home is believed to have been made by a second man who was in the woman\'s home.

No charges are planned against the woman. The wounded man who was on the floor inside the home when police arrived was taken to Medical University Hospital and will be charged with burglary, Hethington said.

Apparently a bullet entered his back, Hethington said.

Burglars ripped steel bars from a side window and shattered glass to enter the home, he said. The woman, who was being interviewed by police late Tuesday, told police her home has been broken into several times.

Hethington said the woman and a boyfriend arrived in a vehicle and parked on the street, near her front door. When she opened the door, she realized someone was inside and went back to the vehicle to get her gun.

The woman fired some shots, one of which left a visible mark when it glanced across the front door. Neighbors called police, and she put the gun down on the pavement as ordered to by the first officer to arrive.

South Carolina law gives residents the right to use deadly force to protect their home.

\"There will be absolutely no charges against her, whatsoever,\" Hethington said. \"She was fully cooperative and seems to be an excellent witness.\"