Local News

Sheriff: Homeowner shot intruder during break-in

Posted May 5, 2010

— A Franklin County homeowner shot and killed an intruder during a break-in Monday morning, Sheriff Pat Green said.

Terry McLamb, 38, shot Thomas J. Wright shortly before 7 a.m. as he broke into the Green Hill Road home where McLamb and his sister, Lisa Jane Wright, live, the sheriff said. Thomas Wright was not armed.

Green said he has not filed charges against McLamb, but that decision is ultimately up to the Franklin County District Attorney's Office, which could send the case to a grand jury.

Green said he believes that McLamb acted in self-defense and was exercising his right to bear arms and protect his home.

Thomas Wright had broken into McLamb's home and stolen items several times before, was a suspect in other break-ins in the neighborhood and was out on bond while awaiting trial for a 2009 break-in, Green said.

His criminal record dates to 1983 and includes convictions for assault with a deadly weapon, assault by pointing a gun, stalking, breaking and entering and selling drugs.


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  • dws May 5, 2010

    "He needs to be charged" - ronaldhargrove59

    and what would your proposed charge be?

  • tsquaring May 5, 2010

    I'll bet there was nothing in that house worth dying over.

  • familyfour May 5, 2010

    **Standing ovation**

    Only way crime is going to be deterred is by fear of the people they are committing the crimes against.

    They do not fear the system for it does not dole out punishment worthy of deterrence.

    Shoot to kill. They ain't sneaking in to "play"!

  • tamiya_stars May 5, 2010

    Every time one of these stores is published I am amazed that people actually defend the perpetrator and criticize the person protecting their home. When you choose to break into someones house, you are gambling with your life plain and simple. I can't see how any sane person can justify treating the homeowner like a criminal.

  • sillywabbitthepatriot May 5, 2010

    **Standing Ovation**

  • Tax Man May 5, 2010

    Sounds like the homeowner did the right thing and is legally justified in what he did! If we had the Castle Doctrine in NC you could do the same to protect your property, not just your life! If the bad guys know they can legally be killed just for taking your TV they will likely find something else to do to make money, like sell drugs. Glad this one nutcase is permanently off the streets. Good work. Hope the DA asks for a holiday for this brave person.

  • beachboater May 5, 2010

    If someone breaks into my home while I'm there, Fido and I are going to assume he means us harm. Fido can keep him at bay while I get my equalizer. She can watch him again while I reload.

  • SalemWWX May 5, 2010


  • mikey1146 May 5, 2010

    Under NC law, you are authorized to stop someone, anyone, from forcibly entering your home, and you can use deadly force to do so. However, once inside your home, you have to be convinced that the individual means to kill or seriously injure you or someone else. If you tell the individual to raise their hands and lay down on the floor, and they comply, you should not kill them. If they don't comply, then you have no way of knowing their intentions, and all bets are off.

  • YA RECKON May 5, 2010

    Im not a lawyer and I dont claim to be so the way I understand it is that a person breaking and entering into home with the intention to steal something / anything, when the occupants are inside is committing first degree burglary which is a felony

    So... RE : North Carolina statute states that a person can use deadly force against an intruder if that person believes (reasonably) that the intruder is there to commit a felony or to inflict serious bodily injury.

    So if I am home and someone breaks in, (though not likely), I can reasonably believe that the entry itself is the felony (because I'm home) and I would be justified in terminating that entry.