A retired S.C. Highway Patrol trooper shot and killed an intruder after a struggle in his Bluffton home early Wednesday, according to the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office.
Former trooper Lt. William "Chuck" Wise was attacked by a man attempting to break into his Palmetto Bluff Road home at 2:15 a.m. when Wise fired several shots, striking and killing him, investigators say.
The body of 39-year-old Paul Edward Rowell was found in the main entryway, the Sheriff's Office said.
Investigators also believe Rowell attacked the owner of a nearby home just 30 minutes before he assaulted Wise at his home.
It is unclear why Rowell was prowling the neighborhood in the early-morning hours, and he was a stranger to both men he attacked, the Sheriff's Office said. No motive has been established, spokeswoman Sgt. Robin McIntosh said.
Rowell has no previous arrests in Beaufort County, according to the Beaufort County Detention Center.