Prosecutor clears Anderson County sheriff's deputy in shooting death of man last month


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ANDERSON, South Carolina — A prosecutor says an Anderson County sheriff's lieutenant was justified when he shot and killed a man last month.

Deputies were called to a home Dec. 1 by someone who said that 45-year-old John Earl Pepper was threatening to kill himself.

Sheriff John Skipper says Pepper threatened to kill the officers who arrived at the home before killing himself.

Skipper said Pepper broke a window and pointed a gun at a deputy who shot the man. Pepper was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Lt. Christopher Vaughn had been placed on leave while the shooting was investigated.

Prosecutor Chrissy Adams said Monday that she thinks Vaughn was justified in firing at the man and has asked that the case be closed.

Pepper's sister Bobbie Gilliam told WHNS-TV she doesn't understand what led to the events before her brother was killed, but said she doesn't think the actions of the deputy were justified.

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