TIMMONSVILLE, SC (WMBF) – The Darlington County Sheriff's Office is investigating whether a fatal stabbing following a home break-in was an act of self defense.
Police are investigating the murder of Gary Durant, who was stabbed around 3:00 am Saturday morning after he broke into a mobile home on A Mere Drive. The Darlington County Sheriff's Office said Durant died later that morning at a nearby hospital.
Friends of the mobile home owner who live in the area said she lives alone and keeps to herself. The homeowner was unavailable for comment. Her also family refused to comment.
Neighbors say the homeowner knew Durant and that he had been drinking when he picked the lock to break into the mobile home. They say he started hitting the home owner once he got inside, which led to her stabbing him.
"That's a shock," said Jennifer Anderson, who has lived in the mobile home park for more than three years. "Nothing's ever happened out here in the trailer park since I've been here."
Robbie Nichols also lives in the park and said things generally stay quiet. "As far as anyone bothering anybody, no, I've never had anything like that happen," he said.
Beyond the park grounds, however, Anderson says break-ins are a common occurrence in the area. She explained an incident where a neighbor who lived down the street from her heard someone outside of his home. He was then shot in the stomach by the trespasser when he went outside to investigate.
"A week later, just a little further from them, the same guy tried to break into somebody else's house," Anderson added.
Anderson said the only way she will feel safe is if harsher punishments are enacted for trespassers and criminals.
"I don't think anyone's safe, to be honest with you," she said.
Charges have not yet been filed against the mobile home owner who stabbed Durant. The incident is still being investigated by the Darlington County Sheriff's Office.