Mississippi property owner shoots and kills suspected thief

(WMC-TV) - Former corrections officer Andre Matthews of Memphis returned to his family's property in Marshall County, Mississippi hours after he shots and killed suspected scrap metal thief Thursday.

"He's shaken up about the whole situation," said Matthews' daughter.

Investigators said Matthews shot and killed a man named Lorenzo Gipson.  He was found dead with a hatchet in his hand.  Matthews claimed Gipson tried to attack him.

"There were multiple shots fired and one of them did in fact strike the defendant and killed him on the scene," said Major Kelly McMillen with the Marshall County Sheriff's Department.

At the time of the shooting investigators were actually on their way to meet with Matthews about a number of scrap metal thefts.

"Farm equipment, aluminum, et cetera," said McMillen.

Investigators suspect Gipson had been selling items from the Matthews property to a scrap yard in Byhalia, Mississippi.

At this point, they consider it a clear cut case of self-defense although the district attorney will ultimately decide whether prosecution is warranted.

"A life was lost today," said Matthews' daughter.

While there was no celebration, the Matthews family was relieved their loved one was the one left standing.

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