MAXTON — A man was shot dead Wednesday morning while trying to break into a Maxton home during an apparent robbery, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Derrick Ray Chavis, 27, of Contour Lane in Maxton, was found dead on the front porch of 21 Nina Drive, sheriff’s Maj. Howard Branch said.
A second person fled on foot but was later found, according to Lt. Reggle Strickland. Bobby Wallace, 41, of Maxton, was questioned and released Wednesday, Strickland said. Charges are pending, he said.
Branch said that Jesse Fulmer, 20, of 110 Nina Drive, was at the home of his girlfriend, Cheryl Maynor, 21, when he saw the headlights of a vehicle in the driveway shortly before 3 a.m.
Fulmer apparently knew one the men and allowed him into the single-wide mobile home, Branch said, “but as he let that subject in, the second suspect forced his way in with a gun,” he said.
But Fulmer was also armed with a “long gun,” according to Branch.
“A struggle ensued between the victim and the suspect. Shots were fired, and the suspect was shot and died on the scene,” Branch said. “
Strickland said a third person, 51-year-old David Earl Brewer, was staying in the home and was involved in the struggle.
Brewer, who was not armed, was not injured.
“It’s still under investigation. We’ve still got people to interview,” Strickland said.
This is the second time in a week that an intruder has been shot during a break-in. Two Bladen County men were shot in the legs on Thursday while trying to break into a St. Pauls home.
Those men’s names have not been released as charges are pending.
State law used to require that in order to use deadly force against an intruder, a homeowner must have a reasonable belief that the intruder intends to kill or seriously hurt them.
An update to the law that took effect Dec. 1 dictates that if someone unlawfully crosses a homeowner’s threshold — whether the intruder has a weapon or not — it is automatically presumed that person is a violent intruder and allows for deadly force by the homeowner.
The updated law also allows for owners to defend their car and workplace under similar circumstances.