Sheriff: Indian Land landlord rightfully ‘stood his ground’ in fatal shooting

From staff reportsMay 29, 2014 

Sheriff Barry Faile

— No charges will be filed against an Indian Land man who shot and killed a Fort Mill man during a domestic dispute in March, the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office said last week.

David Hammer was shot by an Indian Land homeowner who told police he fired his gun in self defense. The homeowner was described in a report as Hammer’s sister’s landlord who owned the nearby mobile home she rented.

“It is unfortunate that this incident led to a loss of life and our condolences go to all parties involved in this tragic event. 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,” Sheriff Barry S. Faile said in a May 29 statement.

Hammer, 21, died at the scene of a March 22 shooting on Fort Mill Highway.

According to the sheriff’s office, the landlord, Douglas Jowers, 57, “and a non-involved neighbor heard and saw a disturbance occurring in the driveway of the mobile home. Jowers and others observed Hammer assaulting a female subject in the driveway. Jowers and his wife exited their home to investigate the disturbance that was occurring on their property. Jowers and others attempted to get Hammer who was grossly intoxicated and angry to leave the property.

“Hammer then began approaching Jowers in an aggressive manner. Jowers was already in possession of a pistol he legally owned. Jowers who was in a vulnerable condition due to recent medical surgery, feared that Hammer would cause him death or serious bodily injury. Jowers then shot Hammer one time,” the sheriff’s office statement says.

After an investigation, Sixth Circuit Solicitor Doug Barfield and the sheriff’s office decided no charges would be filed.

Jennifer Tadlock, engaged to Hammer at the time of his death, said shortly after the shooting that the incident traumatized not only her and his family, but Tadlock’s son, too.

“There was only one shot that night,” she said. “The one, single shot that took the love of my life away.”

Tadlock said Friday she met with authorities a week prior and was told of their decision.

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